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Students Walk Out of Utah Middle School to Protest Furries Who ‘Bite’ and ‘Bark’ in Classrooms

Students at a Utah middle school staged a walkout to protest their peers who identified as ‘furries’ – people who dress up in costumes of animals – scratching and biting classmates.

The hours-long protest took place outside Mt. Nebo Middle School in Payson, Utah, on Wednesday. It was triggered by a petition demanding a stricter dress code, with some middle schoolers reported the offending students were physically attacking other people.

A ‘furry’ is anyone with a strong interest in anthropomorphic animals. Enthusiasts often don full-body animal costumes and gather at ‘furry’ conventions.

The allegations from inside Mt. Nebo Middle School drew condemnation from members of the costumed community themselves.

‘It’s crazy that it’s escalated to this point where these kids are being so distracting to their peers that their peers want to stage a walkout,’ a furry identified as ‘Strudel’ told ABC 4 in Utah.

Around 75 parents and students gathered on the sidewalk by the school campus, holding up posters with messages ranging from ‘Compelled speech is not free speech’ to ‘Stop brainwashing us!’

The demonstration was preceded by a Change.org petition titled ‘Students for Humans at School, not animals aka furries’ that went live on Sunday.

While the initial target was 500 signatures, the campaign quickly racked up more than 1,000 of them. The petition had received over 1,430 signatures.

It calls for stronger enforcement of Section 3.8.1 of the district’s dress code, which prohibits ‘elements of a student’s appearance that draw undue attention, distract, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with the learning atmosphere at school.’

Examples provided are jewelry, accessories, tattoos, hair and facial hair.

‘Please help us in taking care of our children’s well being and safety while at school,’ the petition begs.

However, it seemed the students had a different concern. Several middle schoolers lobbed accusations of violence at their peers, including alleged instances of biting.

‘Multiple of my friends have been bitten by the furries and scratched, and the school won’t do anything about it when we tell them,’ one student said in a video testimonial.

‘They’re barking at us in class. Then they try to bite peoples’ ankles. We need them out of our environment. Save it for the forest,’ another said.

People online were quick to react to news of the walkout. Some social media users rallied behind the furry community as a whole, but steered clear of defending the students’ actions.

‘As a furry, fursuiting can be a fun and creative outlet hobby. However, this distracting behavior takes things too far and shouldn’t be allowed in the classroom,’ one user on X, formerly Twitter, wrote. ‘Schools should foremost be a place of education and learning for all students.’

Others were quick to bash the children for causing a disruption in the classroom and community.

‘Hard to believe that this is a real story. But here we are,’ conservative podcast host Cash Loren stated.

Another X user noted the sordid history associated with the furry community, writing, ‘Furries was an adult sex fetish back in the day. I actually remember seeing an episode of the show “Real Sex” on HBO about it.’

However, school officials were quick to push back against claims made on social media.

Nebo School District Public Information Officer Seth Sorensen told DailyMail.com that much of the information circulating online was ‘completely untrue.’

‘These are 11- and 12-year-old students, and while sometimes these children may come to school with a headband that has ears, sometimes with giant bows, and sometimes dressed as their favorite athlete, there have been no students attending school wearing masks, animal costumes, or acting like animals,’ Sorensen said.

He asserted there had been no incidents of ‘biting, licking, costumes or animal behavior’ at the middle school.

‘These rumors are unfounded and are not occurring in our schools,’ Sorensen said.

‘We have not observed or had reported, any of these types of incidents in the school. The claims being made online are all third-party, or someone told me, statements with no first-person accounts.’

Sorensen also encouraged parents to engage in ‘open communication’ with the district.

‘If parents or patrons have concerns, we encourage them to please reach out to the school administration or myself,’ he said. ‘Our top priority is a safe and supportive environment for both students and parents.’

Speaking to ABC 4 from a local park, Strudel defended the furry community, which they have been part of for a decade, and claimed it was being misrepresented.

‘To have the next generation kind of muddy our name and not represent it very well, it is kind of disappointing,’ Strudel said.

The furry asserted that young people stumbling upon the community online are not old enough to understand what it entails.

‘Continue doing things you like. Continue dressing up, continue making art. But maybe let’s keep it outside of school hours?’ Strudel said.

While furries might seem like a strange community, they are quite popular and have been seen across the world for decades.

Speaking to DailyMail.com, Sharon E. Roberts, co-founder of the International Anthropomorphic Research Projects, shed some light on the phenomenon she has studied for nearly two decades.

‘Furries are people with an interest in anthropomorphism, which specifically refers to giving human characteristics to animals,’ Roberts explained.

‘Around 95 percent of furries develop their own unique avatar-like character called a fursona — a safe, functional way to explore who they are as people, including their gender identity and sexual orientation.

‘Depending on the study, we find that more than 70 percent of furries identify as LGBTQ+ and more than 25 percent are gender-identity diverse,’ she added.

‘They are bullied at almost twice the rates of non-furries and our forthcoming research indicates that four to 15 per cent are on the autistic spectrum.’

While many people think furries always dress up as animals, similar to sport team mascots, Roberts said that is not quite true.

‘Furries don’t identify as animals, they identify with animals,’ she asserted.

‘Only around 15 to 25 percent of furries have “fursuits,” which can be prohibitively expensive. These are usually worn on special occasions, such as a parade or a convention. Another 50 percent of furries own furry paraphernalia — a furry T-shirt, ears, collar or tail — that communicates their furry interests to others.’

READ 28 COMMENTS
  • Quasimodo 2020 says:

    50% of millennials and 80% of gen z are suffering from mental illness there is no other explanation for all that is going on these days. All I have to say is that in my school days these kids would have spent 90% of their school day stuffed head first in to a garbage can and the rest of the day in the principles office getting whacked with a ping pong paddel then get their behinds beat by their father at home. Gen z has been allowed to go feral.

  • Listen to the students who are protesting. They are the ones with common sense.

  • Russian says:

    If someone try to bite me I would use self defense. Two bullets 9×18 mm in center of mass and third in head of a freak. It’s allowed by the Texas Law.

  • Russian says:

    Those who do not support themselves have NO CIVIL RIGHTS. They are parasites.

  • Snickers says:

    This is just laughable, how does ANYONE take this seriously??
    Moreover, how do you talk about the subject thinking it has ANY credibility.. WTH?? This world has totally lost its nuts and bolts!! Unreal what’s happening. God, PLEASE COME and take us to our true home, and out of this insanity..
    Get right with God my friends, and PRAY your going home to our Lord and savior..

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