Town Demands Tattooed Man Cover Up at Pool - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

Town Demands Tattooed Man Cover Up at Pool

Posted:

(AKRON, IA) A first amendment showdown is brewing in the town of Akron, Iowa.

Town officials are demanding a resident cover up at the city pool because of the tattoo on his back. The town says it's simply trying to make the pool a place where everyone feels comfortable but Justin Fay says the city is violating his right to free speech.

The pool during summer is a refreshing way to cool off but Justin Fay traveled 26 miles from Akron to the Riverside pool in Sioux City just to swim without covering up.
 
"I've had two letters from the city pool of Akron, Iowa, telling me I can not go to the pool with my kids with no shirt on so we decided to come out here even though I paid for a pass to the city pool of 90 dollars," says Fay.

The city says the order came after several local swimmers complained about the tattoo saying it was profane and offensive.

Justin says his tattoo reflects his parent's background, one upper-middle class, one from a family of bikers.

Fay received two copies of the same letter - one by mail and the other hand delivered by a city employee telling him to cover up his tattoo or it would revoke his pass.
 
"Our concern was that he would voluntarily cooperate with us and be willing to cover up the tattoo and I just simply said just cover up the tattoo, whether he choose to put something over it or wear a T-shirt that was up to him," says David Stuart, the Akron City Attorney.
 
But Justin says asking him to cover it up is discriminatory and infringes on his first Amendment rights.
 
"If they don't like it, don't look at me. I don't judge you for what you wear to the pool or what you don't wear to the pool. It's just a freedom of speech," says Fay.
 
The city says there are rule signs posted inside the pool patio. One of those rules prohibits the use of profanity.
 
Justin says, because he's not saying anything profane, that rule shouldn't apply. The city disagrees and says if this case lands in court Justin's tattoo isn't necessarily protected by the first amendment.
 
"Ultimately I think it gets into whether or not he's trying to communicate through his tattoos and what he has on his body. Whether or not that's a protected class of speech. I think that's what it's ultimately going to come down to," says Stuart.
 
"It affects everybody," says Fay. "If they say I can't go to the city pool what happens when I'm walking down the street or working in my yard or anywhere else?"
 
The city says if Justin doesn't cover up it will revoke his pool pass. Justin says if that happens he will continue his fight.

We want to know what *YOU* think - should Justin have to cover up his tattoo? We've posted that question on our Siouxland News Facebook page. Hop online and weigh in.

Hleigh@siouxlandnews.com

www.Facebook.com/HeatherLeighKMEG

  • NewsNewsMore>>

  • Spending on Iraq

    Spending on Iraq

    (WASHINGTON, D.C.) Countries around the world are sending humanitarian aid to Iraq in response to violence by Islamic militants. The U.S. has a goal of helping end the violence, and provide significant humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq.More >>
    (WASHINGTON, D.C.) Countries around the world are sending humanitarian aid to Iraq in response to violence by Islamic militants. The U.S. has a goal of helping end the violence, and provide significant humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq.More >>
  • Sergeant Bluff Community Rallies Together to Tackle Storm Damage

    Sergeant Bluff Community Rallies Together to Tackle Storm Damage

    (SERGEANT BLUFF, IA) Less than 24 hours after strong winds ripped through Sergeant Bluff, heavy duty machinery, firefighters, and volunteers took over. More >>
    (SERGEANT BLUFF, IA) Less than 24 hours after strong winds ripped through Sergeant Bluff, heavy duty machinery, firefighters, and volunteers took over.
    More >>
  • Storm Damages Denison Area

    Storm Damages Denison Area

    (DENISON, IA) A Severe storm near the Crawford County town of Denison had powerful wind gusts that toppled over campers at a local campground, and damaged trees throughout town.More >>
    (DENISON, IA) A Severe storm near the Crawford County town of Denison had powerful wind gusts that toppled over campers at a local campground, and damaged trees throughout town.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Siouxland News
100 Gold Circle
Dakota Dunes, SD 57049

Main Phone: 712-277-3554
Main Fax: 712-255-5250
Email: webmaster@siouxlandnews.com

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2009 WorldNow and Sinclair Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.