Students give classmates tattoos at Flagler high school, deputies say

Deputies investigate incident at Matanzas High School in Palm Coast

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager, Loren Korn - Reporter

PALM COAST, Fla. - Two teenage girls gave classmates homemade tattoos at their Flagler County high school, prompting authorities to launch an investigation, officials said.

The father of a 16-year-old, who attends Matanzas High School in Palm Coast, said he learned about his daughter's tattoo on Wednesday after a photo was posted on Instagram.

"There was a tattoo on her hip of a little wave and it was actually a permanent ink type tattoo and it was received or given to her at school," father Eric Brandyn said.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said in an incident report that a "juvenile received a tattoo from another juvenile in the art room during lunch at Matanzas High." Deputies said it's not known where the teacher was when the tattooing took place.

"The fact that it happened on school property is a huge concern to me," Brandyn said.

Deputies said two 15-year-old girls implemented a "stick and poke" method, using a needle and India ink that's available in the art room, to give their classmates tattoos. One of the girls charged $15 per tattoo, deputies said.

Deputies said the same needle was used on multiple students.

"You can transmit hepatitis, or HIV or any other numerous types of bacteria or viruses as a result. It's not a safe practice and it's one that should have never occurred," Flagler County Sheriff's Office Chief Mark Strobridge said.

[PHOTOS: Tattoo spell check]

Flagler County Schools issued a statement Thursday afternoon.

"This morning, administrators at Matanzas High School were made aware of a complaint filed with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, alleging students tattooing other students at the school.

"Our administrators are working with investigators to identify all students involved in the alleged incident. We are following our student code of conduct and discipline protocols during this process.

"Student safety is of utmost concern for us for all our students. We do not condone activities alleged in this incident and they will not be tolerated," the statement said.

Deputies said the girl's parents want to press charges.

The Sheriff's Office said it would send the case to the state attorney's office, which would determine if the girls are charged with practicing tattoos without a license, a second-degree misdemeanor. The teens have been suspended.

At least two other students were possibly tattooed at school, and an investigation is continuing, deputies said.

"We have to take time to remind our teen children that it's a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling that you go through life with, and it's just not safe not to follow the law," Strobridge said.



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