Utah school district pushes back against ‘furry’ allegations after students stage protest

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A school district in Utah pushed back against allegations that kids are dressing up as “furries” in school after students staged a protest against them…

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A school district in Utah pushed back against allegations that kids are dressing up as “furries” in school after students staged a protest against them Wednesday.

Students and adults gathered in droves outside of Mt. Nebo Middle School, where they participated in an hours-long walkout over students who allegedly come to school wearing animal costumes, ABC 4 reported. However, Nebo County District spokesperson Seth Sorenson pushed back on the claims, saying no students are coming to school dressed in full-body animal costumes, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

A group of students who came to school wearing headbands “that may have ears on them” were allegedly targeted by other students, Sorenson told families in a message sent last week before the protest. He said that the students allegedly targeted did not describe themselves as “furries,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“These are pretty young kids,” Sorenson 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.”

Despite Sorenson’s description of the incidents, students still conducted a walkout protest Wednesday.

“We the people, not the animals!” students chanted in footage captured by journalist Adam Bartholomew.

The video shows clusters of students expressing their frustration with alleged furries while holding signs. One sign read, “Compelled speech is not free speech” in all capital letters, video shows. Another sign reads, “I will not comply” in all capital letters.

“So you can’t wear masks on Halloween?” the videographer asked students.

“No, not any masks on Halloween, but they can wear masks every day. It’s not fair,” a student replied.

“So they can wear a mask every day?” the man asked.

“Yes,” several students responded in unison.

“But every time they don’t, they’re always just wearing a mask, but the principal finally stood up and banned those stuff. But they have, but they still wear them every day,” one boy told the cameraman.

“But they don’t get in trouble,” another student chimed in. “The principal doesn’t make them get in trouble.”

“All the principal says is just, ‘Be kind. Be nice,’” one girl said.

Furries are people participating in fan culture surrounding an infatuation with anthropomorphic animals, according to WebMD. Many furries create their animal character with human traits and dress up as said character. 

A petition against the alleged furries at the Utah school reached 500 signatures Wednesday since its launch Sunday, ABC 4 reported. Supporters of the petition claim they are attempting to bring forth enforcement of part of the dress code prohibiting “jewelry, accessories, tattoos, hair, facial hair, and other elements of a student’s appearance that draw undue attention, distract, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with the learning atmosphere of a school.”

“What’s the point of dressing up like a furry?” the cameraman asked students, who exploded with their speculations.

Protesting students shouted out that alleged furry students “think they’re so cool” and “want attention.”

Utah Parents United, a group of adults with children attending the school, wrote on Facebook that they “stand by” the protest. They claimed, “It is harmful to children for school rules and dress codes to be centered around the marginalized,” stating that doing this “perpetuates victim culture that is damaging our children.”