Sylvain Helaine said last year he was teaching kindergarten at the Docteur Morere Elementary School in Palaiseau, a suburb of Paris, when the parents of a three-year-old child complained to educational authorities. They said their son, who was not taught by Helaine, had nightmares after seeing him.
A couple months later school officials told him he could no longer teach kindergarten.
A spokesman for the local education authority said an agreement was reached with Helaine to move him away from teaching kindergarten. Pupils under six “could be frightened by his appearance”, the spokesman said.
His tattoos, Mr Helaine said, could help teach pupils to accept people who did not look like them.
He said: “Children who see me learn tolerance of others. When they are adults, they may be less likely to be racist or homophobic, and they will not look at disabled people as if they were something from a circus.”