There are a lot of things a gymnastics coach should be doing. Helping students perfect a routine on the uneven bars, working on the the front aerial, perhaps even the triple full. Giving tattoos and piercings isn't on the job requirement form; in fact, it's on the never, ever do under any circumstances unless you want to feel the full wrath of the anger of parents list. A gymnastics coach at Park High School in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, has made that list.
Terry Robert Hardy, 38, allegedly took a break from teaching kids pikes and side aerials to tattoo and pierce one of his 16-year-old students. This is a complete breech of trust on so many levels.
Tattoos are forever, as we all know. Unless you go through the incredibly painful process of laser removal. Hardy, allegedly, tattooed his student Abby Rasmussen not once, but three times, and also pierced her tongue all within his home.
I can hardly contain my anger. Hardy is a coach, not a piercer, not a tattoo artist. If true, he had no right to tattoo and pierce a 16-year-old without her parents' permission or them even knowing about it. How could any adult think this is okay? Or that they could get away with it? Rasmussen claims that her coach told her that he was licensed to tattoo and pierce, but he told her to keep it a secret. My mind is exploding here. What else has he told kids to keep secret?! This is a person who parents, students, a school, a whole community trusted with their children.
The school district has suspended Hardy who is also a teacher at the school and police have cited him with two counts of a misdemeanor assault while an investigation is going on. It was said he was fired from his post as gymnastics coordinator. Hardy says the accusations are "false."
If Hardy did tattoo and pierce a minor, I hope he did so under sanitary conditions and with safe, unused needles. It's not just about that he allegedly did this without permission -- did he do this safely? I hope they get to the bottom of this fast.
What would you do if your child came home from school and told you her coach tattooed and pierced her?
Image via DaMongMan/Flickr