A teacher in France says he was told he could no longer teach kids in Kindergarten over what he believes is an issue with his tattoos and body modifications.
Sylvain Helaine, 35, is covered in tattoos including his face which also features darkened eyes and a green tongue. He's still able to teach children above the age of six but can't teach Kindergarten after a parent complained to the school that he scared their child due to his appearance.
"All of my students and their parents were always cool with me because basically they knew me," he says. "It's only when people see me from far away that they can assume the worst."
Helaine says he was teaching kindergarten last year at Docteur Morere Elementary in a suburb of Paris when the parents of a 3-year-old boy, who was not a student, saw him and had nightmares afterwards.
Months later, Sylvain was informed by the school that he could no longer teach the young children. "I think the decision they took was quite sad," he said.
Helaine says despite the decision, he plans to keep teaching the older children. "I'm a primary school teacher, I love my job."
He adds that he hopes his appearance is an example to children that they should accept people who are outside of the norm. "Maybe when they are adults they will be less racist and less homophobic and more open-minded," he says.