There’s a fine line between being a Cool Mom and being a straight-up Irresponsible Mom, and encouraging your preteen child to get an illegal tattoo from an amateur artist falls firmly in the latter category. In Coweta County, Georgia, the mother of a 12-year-old girl has been arrested after a fifth-grade teacher spotted a cross with the words “Jesus Saves” on the girl’s shoulder at a school dance and called the police.
11 Alive Atlanta reports that Emmie Nolan, 35, was charged with being a party to a crime, along with Brenda Gaddy, the aspiring tattoo artist who allegedly inked three children under the age of 18 at a Super Bowl party back in March. While a video taken at the party confirmed that Gaddy was responsible for the ink, Lt. Jason Fetner of the Coweta County Sheriff’s office said that the girl originally claimed that she’d been forced to get the tattoo by her father, then later told authorities that she had wanted to get the tattoo.
“Each of the parents had a different story, and it boiled down to, frankly, just finger-pointing,” Fetner told the news station. “I think it’s unfortunate in that the child actually wanted to get the tattoo. It’s not like the child was forced to get the tattoo; I think it just comes down to bad parenting.”
The incident has unsurprisingly sparked controversy on Facebook, where 11 Alive shared a poll soliciting opinions on whether tattoos under the age of 18 are inappropriate. Reactions have been varied, with most people criticising the ill-considered decision while others insist it’s no different from piercing a young child’s ears.
Perhaps the best response is to focus on the absurdity of the entire situation, which is that a 12-year-old was given a religious tattoo by an adult at a Super Bowl party with her parents and several other adults as witnesses. Burning all the potato skins 15 minutes before your guests are set to arrive is a total non-issue by comparison.