We chat to kindergarten teacher who lost his job over tattoos

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Frenchman Sylvain Helaine is a 35-year-old teacher, artist, comedian and international model.

What makes him remarkable is that his body is 100% covered in tattoos and he is considered to be the most tattooed man in France.

His body, face and tongue are covered in tattoos: even the whites of his eyes have surgically been turned black.  

He is perhaps better known as 'Freakyhoody' across his various social media platforms, where he showcases his art - which includes semi-naked pictures of him and his tattoos.

Of added interest though, is that Helaine is also a kindergarten teacher, but has recently lost his job, after being stopped from teaching children aged two to five.

He has been a teacher for 12 years, but parents at his school in Palaiseau, a suburb of Paris, complained that he was scaring the children, claiming they had nightmares.  

Teacher by day...  

In an interview with Parent24, Sylvain admits that his identity as an artist and a teacher should be kept apart. "And it is," he adds, "teacher by day, and comedian, model, performer any other day!" 

Although he can no longer teach children under the age of five, he says he is still allowed to teach children aged six to eleven. 

Sylvain, who is single and has no children, shared that he started getting tattooed about eight years ago, while living in London.

When asked what he has learned from losing his job over the tattoos, he tells us that one should live life to the fullest, "but try to talk to the person before judging them."   

He says that his values include tolerance, respect and being open minded, and he urges people to "never judge a book by its cover." 

A selfish decision   

He has previously admitted that his decision to go for full cover was 'selfish', but he is sticking to his career choice.

"I'm a primary school teacher... I love my job," he told CNN, adding that he hoped to show his pupils that they should accept people who are different from the norm. 

He explained that "Maybe when they are adults they will be less racist and less homophobic and more open-minded." 

Would you let him teach your pre-schooler? Let us know! Send an email to chatback@parent24.com 

Watch him talk about his experience below, or on Facebook:  


Share your stories and questions with us via email at chatback@parent24.com. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Compiled for Parent24 by Athenkosi Mndende

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