'Scary' tattoos cost French kindergarten teacher job

Meet French schoolteacher Sylvain Helaine...

Or, as he's known in the tattoo world, 'Freaky Hoody'.

His body, face and tongue are covered in tattoos - and he's had the whites of his eyes surgically turned black.

"I will keep getting tattooed forever because when you're passionate about something you don't want to stop. So I have started my second layer and after a second layer I will do a third one, then a fourth and fifth and I will end up full black eventually."

At night, Helaine performs in clubs and occasionally models.

But he is also a supply teacher.

And says he was prevented from working at a French kindergarten after a parent complained he scared their child.

"All of my students and their parents were always cool with me because basically they knew me. As soon as you talk to me you realise that I'm a proper teacher, that I am a regular guy."

Not everyone was comfortable with his tattoos though.

Last year, Helaine said he was teaching kindergarten at an elementary school in a Paris suburb, when the parents of a three-year-old child complained to educational authorities.

They said their son, who he did not teach, had nightmares after seeing him.

A couple of months later, the school authorities informed Helaine that he would no longer teach kindergarten.

"I think the decision they took was quite sad because they never tried to stand behind me, they immediately went the parents' way."

A spokesman for the local education authority said an agreement was reached with Helaine to move him away from teaching kindergarten.

They added that pupils under six could, quote, "be frightened by his appearance".

Video Transcript

- Meet French schoolteacher Sylvain Helaine, or as he's known in the tattoo world, "Freaky Hoodie." His body, face, and tongue are covered in tattoos. And he's had the whites of his eyes surgically turned black.

SYLVAIN HELAINE: I will keep getting tattooed forever because when you're passionate about something, you don't want to stop. So I have started my second layer. And after the second layer, I'll do a third one, and then a fourth one, and a fifth one. And I will end up full black, eventually.

- At night, Helaine performs in clubs and occasionally models. But he's also a supply teacher, and says he was prevented from working at a French kindergarten after a parent complained he scared their child.

SYLVAIN HELAINE: All of my pupils, all of my students, and their parents were always cool with me because, basically, they knew me. As soon as you talk to me, you realize that I am a proper teacher, that I am a regular guy.

- Not everyone was comfortable with his tattoos, though. Last year, Helaine said he was teaching kindergarten at an elementary school in a Paris suburb where the parents of a three-year-old child complained to educational authorities. They said their son, who he did not teach, had nightmares after seeing him. A couple of months later, the school authorities informed Helaine that he would no longer teach kindergarten.

SYLVAIN HELAINE: I think the decision they took was quite sad because they never tried to stand behind me. They immediately went the parents' way.

- A spokesman for the local education authority said an agreement was reached with Helaine to move him away from teaching kindergarten. They added that pupils under 6 could quote, "be frightened by his appearance."