Florida School Board Debates Banning ‘Furry’ Attire

A contentious debate is unfolding in a Florida school district as several school board members push to ban students from dressing as “furries” on campus. The proposed dress code amendment has stirred up strong opinions among the school community, as students and parents weigh in on the issue.

In a recent Brevard Public Schools (BPS) school board meeting, members discussed potential amendments to the districtwide dress code policy. The suggestions, brought forward by BPS students, covered many topics, from tank tops and hats to tails and animal ears. The latter ignited a heated conversation about the appropriateness of “furry” attire in schools.

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A “furry” is often described as an individual who has an interest in anthropomorphism or the act of attributing human traits to non-human entities. “Furries” often say they identify with animals, which for some results in them wearing items like tails, collars, and animal ears. Some “furries” also choose to communicate occasionally using traditional animal sounds, such as barks or squeaks.

During the meeting, BPS school board member Katye Campbell expressed her mixed feelings on the subject. “It was interesting to see some of the same students who said ‘We should be able to wear whatever we want,’ but then say ‘but you can’t wear a tail and ears,'” she said. Campbell also acknowledged that while she’s “not a big fan of the furry movement,” she questioned whether a headband with pointed ears should be considered more than a hair accessory.

The conversation took a more critical turn when other board members voiced their concerns. BPS board chair Matt Susin shared that his daughter is “tired of furries” in schools and that the issue has been a recurring topic at family dinners. He urged the board to find ways to “curb that behavior.”

As the discussion continued, board member Jennifer Jenkins criticized her colleagues for “over-complicating” the subject. “This is not rocket science, and it’s not an epidemic. If you don’t want tails on kids, just say no tails,” she said. Jenkins also pointed out that the barking and meowing associated with “furries” are unrelated to their attire and should not be part of the dress code discussion.

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The meeting concluded with BPS Student Services Director Christopher Reed, one of the writers of the dress code policy, saying he would explore the district’s options moving forward. He suggested one possible approach could involve adding language prohibiting clothing meant to “emulate a non-human.”

It remains unclear when the BPS dress code will be finalized or if language referencing “furries” will ultimately be included. The debate has left the community divided, with some arguing for students’ freedom of expression and others pushing for a more conservative dress code that upholds a focused learning environment.

Other stories you may want to read:

Florida Bans Gender Identity Teaching in All Public Schools, Expands ‘Parental Rights’ Rule

Biden Admin Adding ‘Unspecified Gender Identity’ Option to Immigration Forms

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