VIDEO/POLL: Art or gang symbol? Student suspended over tattoo

Jessica Coffey, 19, a senior at Riverdale High School, was suspended due to the tattoo on her arm. Photo courtesy of NBC-2.

Jessica Coffey, 19, a senior at Riverdale High School, was suspended due to the tattoo on her arm. Photo courtesy of NBC-2.

Should the school district be able to suspend someone because of a tattoo?

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Video from NBC-2

A high school student says she was kicked out of school in her senior year because a tattoo on her arm, one that some school administrators think symbolizes gang activity, was exposed in gym class.

Jessica Coffey, 19, was a senior at Riverdale High School until last week. The assistant principal suspended her for 10 days and she now has to finish school at an alternative learning center.

"Over here I have my father and my mother's names and then there's this one they're kicking me out of school for," she said. "It hurts. I want to graduate."

The tattoo in question is on her left arm. It's a picture of two masks - one smiling, one crying.

Read NBC-2’s report

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