The American high school experience in 2021 is plagued by uncertainty in the face of an ongoing pandemic, aggro anti-mask dads, Tiktok drama, the usual academic hurdles, and furries.
According to Kentucky NBC affiliate WLWT, parents and students alike are concerned about a group of high school students in the Meade County School district “attending school acting like and dressing as cats.” One woman who spoke to the outlet, the grandmother of two children who attend the high school, said the trend began last year, but seemed to become more popular when students returned to classes in August.
From WLWT, emphasis ours:
“Apparently, from what I understand, they’re called ‘furries,’” the grandmother, who asked to remain anonymous, told WLKY. “They identify with animals. These people will hiss at you or scratch at you if they don’t like something you’re doing.”
She said it’s not a new problem.
“I was hearing rumblings of this last year, but it really got bad when they went back to school this year. I have two grandkids in school and my grandkids didn’t want to go to school anymore,” she said.
She said the issue gained attention on social media once people started sharing photos and videos of the feline costumes and behavior, “I started getting videos and messages from kids, and I said, ‘Ok, I’m going to post this so parents know what’s going on.’”
The grandmother said a petition to end the practice was created by students and has more than 1,000 signatures.
“The students are told they can’t wear hats or Budweiser shirts in school, but they can wear cat ears, cat tails, masks, leashes. It doesn’t make sense,” she added.
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Last week, someone identifying themselves only as an “MCHS student” started Change.org petition that has so far garnered almost 1,000 signatures, calling out Meade County School District for hypocrisy: They’re demanding that the district nix their dress code policy against wearing hats if students are allowed to wear animal ears, tails, and leashes. While the district’s superintendent assured WLWT that this furry gear is, in fact, a dress code violation, that hasn’t seemed to ease the worries of the anonymous student who started the petition. The student claims these “furries”—their classmates—are “growling, hissing, or even scratching and biting at other people.”
I’ve been very online for more than half my life, and I’ve witnessed every possible expression of furrydom that one can imagine: the costumes, the fanart, the porn, the meetups, etc. Whether we’re calling them furries or members of the “kin” community, I truly do not understand the appeal and I never will. Admittedly, I’m a little weirded out by it, not unlike that grandma from Kentucky.
Still, this sounds like a small group of nerdy, socially awkward kids who are going through a phase. The Venn diagram between these kids and the kids who Naruto run through the hallways is, I would guess, basically a circle, and they’re probably harmless. There’s always some teen craze that people inevitably blow out of proportion. Remember vampire kids post-Twilight? Or when ‘90s teens had a thing for pacifiers?
Please, let these weirdos do their thing. Unless they’re actually harming their classmates, I see no cause for panic. And maybe let the kids wear hats in class too. Who cares? Dress codes are mostly nonsensical anyway.