Even adults who get tattoos sometimes regret it. So it is certain that many young people will sooner or later have regrets if they get tattoos.
That and questions of safety and hygiene are excellent reasons why juveniles should not be permitted to get tattoos. And in Tennessee, fortunately, it is prohibited for a person under the age of 18 to get a tattoo.
But there is a bit of a debate over whether a stricter law should be enacted to require people such as doctors or teachers to call the authorities if they come in contact with a tattooed juvenile.
It’s hard to say whether that’s a wise idea. Obviously our laws should be obeyed. But we can see how it would place an extra burden on teachers and others who already have their hands full with their ordinary duties. A reporting adult also might not know whether the juvenile got the tattoo in Tennessee or in a state where perhaps it is lawful.
We’ll let lawmakers sort out those legal pros and cons.
But the best way to keep youngsters from going down the wrong path is for caring, responsible parents to provide guidance that makes bad choices less attractive.