Fla. district moves to ban ‘furry’ items to curb ‘barking and meowing’

Fla. district moves to ban ‘furry’ items to curb ‘barking and meowing’

The culture wars have gone to the dogs.

A Florida school board is moving to ban “furry” clothing accessories — including animal tails and ears — in the hope of halting a growing trend of students barking, grunting and meowing at each other in class.

A tense Brevard County School Board meeting turned feral this week after members raised concerns over kids donning the accoutrements and identifying as their chosen critter.

“I can’t believe I have to say this out loud,” remarked panelist Megan Wright before introducing the unusual agenda item.

Wright told the board that some students said they were being bullied for their adherence to the “furry” movement — and asked the board to formally allow the items.

Board member Matt Susin — who called for a blanket ban on creature couture — said his young daughter told him the trend was taking hold in elementary school and continuing into the higher grades.

“I’m all about trying to find a way that this is not acceptable in any way,” he said. “Because what it does is they then do the barking and all the other weird stuff.”

Some kids are wearing "furry" outfits at school, prompting a ban at a Florida district.
Some kids are wearing “furry” outfits at school, prompting talk of a ban at a Florida district.
Getty Images/Image Source

But colleague Katye Campbell called for a nuanced approach, noting that some younger girls wear headbands with animal ears — and without accompanying sound effects.

“I’m not a big fan of the furry movement,” Campbell clarified. “I want you to just consider our little elementary school girls. They’re not trying to be a furry. It’s a headband and it’s cute. And it has flowers or it has a unicorn. They’re not trying to be an animal.”

Campbell added the board should draw a clear line on acceptable pelt products.

Brevard County School Board member Matt Susin.
Brevard County school board member Matt Susin opposes the furry garment trend.

“Tails are different,” she said. “Students meowing and barking at each other — that’s not cool.”

Campbell also suggested that tails could pose a “tripping hazard.”

Susin suggested that ostensibly benign attachments can serve as gateway garments to a full embrace of of hirsute ideology.

Board general counsel Paul Gibbs appeared baffled by the topic, although he said he did recall some kids wearing dog collars back in his high school days.

Florida's Brevard County School District.
The furry controversy was discussed in Brevard County, Florida.
TIM SHORTT/FLORIDA TODAY via Imagn Content Services, LLC

“They weren’t trying to be a dog though,” another board member interjected.

Arguing that furry fashions were being overblown as an “epidemic,” panelist Jennifer Jenkins appeared irritated by the discussion.

“This conversation about furries is insane and a culture war conversation,” she said, asserting that a simple ban on tails would suffice.

Brevard County board members Katye Campbell and Jennifer Jenkins.
Brevard County board members Katye Campbell and Jennifer Jenkins.

“It’s more than tails,” Susin shot back. “It’s not just tails.”

The committee members verbally clawed at each other for several minutes, with Susin accusing Jenkins of minimizing the issue and being “disingenuous.”

After Jenkins accused him of being purposefully inattentive during her commentary, Susin said he was ready to proceed.

“I’m not going to take a berating,” he said. “We’re going to move forward with our policies.”

As the pair licked their wounds, the district’s director of student services, Christopher Reed, sought guidance on the proper wording for the ban.

The board will now move to bar students from wearing any item that “emulates non-human characteristics.”

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