TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA — Enforcing the dress code is getting hairy in Brevard County Public Schools.
The Brevard school board is trying to collar the growing trend of “furries” – students dressing up and acting like animals on campus during school hours.
“Furries,” like drag queens, have been around for decades, but have only recently been thrust into the mainstream youth culture. The movement has been accelerated by the growing LGBTQ paradigm, which asserts that personal feelings can supersede external realities.
“I'm all about trying to find a way that [being a furry] is not acceptable in any way, because what it does is, they then do the barking and all the other weird stuff,” board chair Matt Susin said at a workshop meeting on May 9 discussing the district’s dress code policy.
Several board members laughed as the subject was being discussed. One referred to the students as a “litter.”
“I remember when I was in high school people wore dog collars, but that was as far as it went,” added Paul Gibbs, the district’s general counsel.
Board member Katye Campbell wanted to make sure the restrictions didn’t restrict girls from wearing headbands with ears on them.
“I want you to just consider our little elementary school girls who – they’re not trying to be a furry – it’s a headband and it’s cute,” Campbell said. “If we want to say: ‘You can’t wear a tail because that’s a tripping hazard,’ or whatever, that’s fine. I just don’t know if we have to go all the way to curbing for some students what they think is cute.”
“Behavior is another [separate] issue,” Susin responded. “No furry behavior… I don’t know.”
After several minutes of discussion, board member Jennifer Jenkins became visibly frustrated with the tedious back and forth.
“This conversation about furries is insane,” Jenkins said. “If you guys are keeping up with the trends, it's this weird, ridiculous thing that kids are doing in middle school, all children, barking and meowing at each other.”
“It's all the kids, unfortunately. Speak to your middle school teachers, they'll tell you,” Jenkins continued. “This is not rocket science, and it's not an epidemic, if you don't want tails on kids just say no tails.”
District spokesperson Russell Bruhn told Florida Today that the issue has not gotten out of hand at this point, saying: “I'm not saying kids aren't kids, and then they poke fun at each other or team up to have fun, but as far as a widespread issue, that has not been the case as far as we know.”