Chicago Tribune

Go ahead, get that tattoo. Your boss shouldn't mind.

CHICAGO - Nora Flanagan's first tattoos hid strategically under her clothing. An aspiring teacher, Flanagan worried the ink could cost her a job.

"There was definitely an idea of what a teacher should look like," Flanagan, now 42, recalls of her early career in the late 1990s. Teachers wore long, wholesome floral skirts, not child-corrupting body art.

But several years into her job at Chicago's Lane Tech College Prep High School, Flanagan got a teaching award, tenure and greater confidence. She shed the floral skirts, slipped on her Doc Martens and accumulated more tattoos, letting them creep visibly down her arms.

Now chair of the English department at Northside College Prep High School, Flanagan is covered in tattoos from her knuckles to her collarbone, plus some on her calves, and she wears them proudly.

"I'm the tattooed teacher," said Flanagan, adding that she has gotten no complaints from parents or administration. "It's a big deal to the kids for a day and then

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