Teachers with tattoos: stories behind the ink


Tattoo on Mr. Ringle’s upper arm.

Tattoos, an increasingly commonplace occurrence on people, are often controversial. Some say they can affect the workplace environment, with studies on this topic having been conducted and certain jobs requiring that tattoos be covered up for the sake of professionalism. Despite this, tattoos are very popular, representing a way to express inspirations, art, or even pieces of people’s childhoods.

Social Studies teacher Carter Ringle is an example of this. He has four tattoos on his arms. On his upper left arm, he has a colored dancing bear, which is a symbol of the band Grateful Dead. Mr. Ringle chose to get this tattoo because Grateful Dead was a significant band in him and his brother’s upbringing.

Grateful Dead Tattoo
Carter Ringle presenting his Grateful Dead tattoo on his upper arm.

According to a writer on extrachill.com, this bear along with the other four of the quintet were designed for Owsley “Bear” Stanley, who “engineered and recorded to tape many of the shows that the Grateful Dead performed in the 60’s and 70’s. In this way, the entire tape trading culture that surrounded the Grateful Dead can be traced back to him.”

This tattoo, along with the rest of Mr. Ringle’s tattoos, represents Mr. Ringle’s personal taste relating to his pop culture interests. For example, he has another tattoo on the back side of his upper left arm that has the name of a 2020 album by K. Michelle, an American singer, actress, and television personality. Additionally, the tattoo further down his arm is a tattoo of an X-Files quote.

Carter Ringle shows his tattoo, a quote from the television series, The X-Files.

In addition to the three already discussed, he has a much larger one on his right arm.

“It is a bust of Rod Serling, the creator of the Twilight Zone,” Ringle said. “However, his face is replaced with the classic Twilight Zone black and white spiral, representing the mysterious and Kafkaesque elements of so many of the show’s episodes.”

Carter Ringle’s tattoo of Rod Sterling on his forearm.

For those who don’t know, the Twilight Zone is a TV series that ran from 1959-1964, and encompasses the genres of mix of horror, science-fiction, drama, comedy and superstition. The show is based around the premise of ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary situations, which they each try to solve in an interesting manner.

Mr. Ringle isn’t the only teacher with tattoos. Recently, French teacher Madame Lindsey Ravis got her first two tattoos.

“I’ve always wanted a tattoo, but I couldn’t figure out something I wanted to have forever,” said Ravis. “I decided to combine my faith and my children together into two tattoos.”

“I have three children, so those are represented by the three flowers, and my faith is represented in a self-explanatory way, with the cross,” Ravis said.


Madame Ravis shows her tattoo of a cross, exemplifying her faith.
Madame Ravis’s tattoo of three flowers, representing her three children.