A Georgia mother was recently arrested and charged with misdemeanor cruelty for allowing her 10-year-old son to get a tattoo, according to Atlanta news station WSBTV.
Chuntera Napier of Cobb County says she just couldn’t say no to her son Gaquan when he asked her if he could get a tattoo in honor of his older brother who died after being hit by a car, and she had no idea that allowing him to do so was illegal.
“It made me feel good to know that he wanted his brother on him,” Napier said, adding that her family is still grieving the death of her 12-year-old son Malik, who was hit and killed two years ago by a teenage driver in nearby Macon County.
“My son came to me and said, ‘Mom, I want to get a tattoo with Malik on it, rest in peace.’ What do I say to a child who wants to remember his brother?” Napier said. “It’s not like he was asking me, ‘Can I get Sponge Bob? Like people getting all kinds of things on them. He asked me something that’s in remembrance of his brother. How can I say no?”
Napier said yes, and took her son to a tattoo shop in Smyrna where he got a tattoo of his brother’s name and former basketball jersey number. When asked why he wanted to get the tattoo, Gaquan said, “Because it represents my brother.”
But his mom didn’t know that due to a 2010 law, it is “unlawful for any person to tattoo the body of any person under the age of 18, except for a physician or osteopath…” which resulted in her being arrested after someone at Gaquan’s school saw the tattoo and notified authorities.
“I always thought that if a parent gave consent, then it was fine,” Napier said. “How can somebody else say that it’s not OK? He’s my child, and I have the right to say what I want for my child. I can’t go tell anybody else what I want for their child.”
While we don’t really think it’s appropriate for a 10-year-old child to get a tattoo, the fact that it was done in honor of his deceased 12-year-old brother definitely tugs at our hearts a little. And we do think it was a bit much for a mother to actually get arrested and charged with a crime over allowing her own son to get a tattoo.