A schoolteacher whose body, face and tongue are covered in tattoos and who has had the whites of his eyes surgically turned black said he was prevented from teaching at a French kindergarten after a parent complained he scared their child.
Sylvain Helaine, 35, was asked to switch age groups when a parent complained he gave their three-year-old nightmares.
He said last year he was teaching at the Docteur Morere Elementary School in Palaiseau, a suburb of Paris, when the parent said their son, who was not taught by Helaine, was scared after seeing him.
A couple of months later the school authorities informed him he would no longer teach kindergarten children.
Helaine says tha after an initial shock when his students see him for the first time, his pupils see past his appearance.
"All of my students and their parents were always cool with me because basically they knew me," said Helaine, who estimated he has spent around 460 hours under the tattooists' needle.
Despite the setbacks, Helaine said he would stick with his chosen career. "I'm a primary school teacher... I love my job."
He said he started getting tattoos at the age of 27 when, while teaching at a private school in London, he had an "existential crisis". Since then, he said, "Getting tattoos is my passion."
He said he hoped to show his pupils that they should accept people who are different from the norm. "Maybe when they are adults they will be less racist and less homophobic and more open-minded," he said.