Utah Middle School Students Stage Walkout over ‘Furries’

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Students at Mt. Nebo Middle School in Payson, Utah, staged a walkout on Wednesday in protest of “furries” in their school.

The protest was reportedly over students who dress in animal costumes in regular life. According to WebMD, the “furry community began to emerge in the 1970s, alongside growing interest in science fiction, anime, and role-playing.” Some adults embrace this, even holding conventions, one of which had to bar minors from attending after Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation designed to protect children.

In other words, furries are individuals who identify with anthropomorphic animals and enjoy dressing up as them. WebMD puts it this way: “Furries are people who have an interest in anthropomorphic animals, or animals with human qualities.”

The protest at the school involved both students and adults. According to ABC4, some students who identify as furries are “accused of biting, scratching, spraying air freshener on, barking at, and chasing other students.”

A Change.org petition titled “Students for Humans at School, not animals aka furries,” which calls for the school’s administration to “start enforcing section 3.1.8 of the district policies dress code,” has amassed more than 1,500 signatures.

However, the school district is pushing back, asserting that many of the claims prompting the protest are false. Nebo School District spokesperson Seth Sorenson said the claims were false and denied that students wore full animal costumes.

He believes the protest may have been prompted by a message from the district that was not interpreted correctly.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune:

The message was sent after a group of students had been targeting another group of students, saying things “that were overheard by others that the administration felt were inappropriate and shouldn’t be said,” Sorenson said.

The group of students being targeted, he added, were students who sometimes come to school wearing headbands “that may have ears on them.” He said doesn’t think the targeted students necessarily refer to themselves as “furries.”

“These are pretty young kids,” he said. “You’ll have students that show up with headbands and giant bows; you’ll have students that show up dressed as their favorite basketball player, or baseball player. That’s just what kids this age do.

“We hope that rather than parents just reaching out on social media and posting, that they’ll actually reach out to the school and have conversations,” Sorenson added.


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