Kenya: 10 High School Students Suspended for Having Tattoos

22 January 2020

A school in Nyeri has suspended 10 students for having tattoos on different parts of their bodies.

The administration of St Mary's Boys Secondary School suspended the said students after discovering they have artistic drawings on their bodies.

Speaking to NTV, one of the suspended students said the school management said it would only allow them back to school after they remove the tattoos.

"We were suspended from school for having tattoos and told to go home and only return after removing them," the student said.

He added that he got his tattoo after completing his primary education because he loved art and drawing.

The decision by the school to kick out the students irked parents who called out the administration for being unfair.

A section of them argue that the drawings do not affect the performance of the students, hence the suspension is not justified.

"There is no relationship between tattoos and the performance of the students as they do not affect their brains," said one of the parents.

However, there are some parents who feel the drawings do not go well with the learning environment and African culture, particularly for young ones.

"It is an idea that has not been embraced by our society and as such, the students must conduct themselves in line with existing regulations and norms," said one parent.

But according to lawyer Wahome Gikonyo the tattoo industry has no regulations and anyone willing to have it can go ahead to engrave the drawings on his or her body.

"The tattoo industry has a blank cheque and they can do anything to whom they want, whenever they want and to whatever part of the body they want, even a minor may say he wants a tattoo and gets it," said the lawyer.

Gikonyo, however, noted that despite the blank cheque given to players in the industry, one can still be charged with injuring the body.

The school has refused to comment on the suspension.

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