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Utah kids find clever way to skip school: protesting furries

Edited by GreenReaper
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Anthrocon 2007 7chan protestors What started as a cafeteria food fling in Payson, Utah became yet another fracas over the allegations of ‘furry behavior’ in schools. This ultimately led to online rumors and frustrations about alleged attacks committed by the ‘furries’ on students. Bolstered by frustrations on social media, a handful of students and their parents performed a walk out of their school on April 17.

An older furry by the name of Stroodle was interviewed by ABC4 [EU/UK folk: try this], and said that expression is important, but sometimes studies should come first.

It’s crazy that it’s escalated to this point that these kids are being so distracting to their peers that their peers want to stage a walkout [...] So to have the next generation muddy our name and not represent us very well, it’s kind of disappointing.

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

If you continue to read primary sources and local coverage of the event, however, it’s not as simple as the narrative that these alleged furries were being purposely disruptive or a bad example, as Stroodle believed in the heat of the interview. Instead, it would appear that this was an incident that was far more nuanced than social media would have you believe.

Animal ears and a food fight fracas

The statement from the school was that during school hours, students who were wearing animal ears on a headband had food thrown at them. This incident led the Utah School Board to feel compelled to send letters out to the families of the district.

According to KSL, those who wore the animal ear bandanas were reminded about the school’s dress code about wearing articles of clothing that could be deemed as disruptive. Given the disruption that it had caused, the students in question agreed to discontinue wearing them, according to school spokesperson Seth Sorensen.

In addition to addressing the dress code, the letters going out to the parents also contained flowery language about acceptance of other people, in response to the food throwing. Unfortunately, such language triggered a response by those in this country that are enraged by such tolerance-wishing and de-escalating language. Those individuals took this as the school defending the alleged furries in their entirety without consequence. This malicious interpretation of the verbiage would lead the perpetually online to start to try and paint these furries as aggressors, being defended by a corrupt school, and that the other students were the in fact, the victims.

Rumors of biting are toothless

According to multiple sources and the school administration, the actions of the alleged furries never escalated into violent and zoomorphic acts described online. Even the New York Post, a newspaper that often pushes sensationalist headlines and photos to sell its papers notes that the scratching, biting, and pouncing rumors were made up by online political operative pundits.

Controversial page 'Libs of TikTok' further blasted the false message [sic], claiming that the furries were “terrorizing” their peers: “Students claim that the furries bite them, bark at them, and pounce on them without repercussion,” the account wrote on X.

But the school district said none of the bizarre accusations are true — rather, they’re rumors that snowballed on the Internet as they got further away from the actual source and took off with right-wing personalities.

“Those rumors are completely unfounded and actually never occurred in the schools,” Sorenson said, noting that the students are under constant adult supervision and are being monitored by security cameras throughout the building.

Never let a good crisis not go to wasting time

Once that rumor was out, though, it was used by some students to cleverly get out of class by protesting an incident that never occurred. Better yet, it let the furries take the fall for being class disruptors by the masses on social media, while the students who wanted to play hooky used the chaos to excuse themselves from studies.

About 70 showed up, and shouted slogans such as “free the people, not the animals”. An ironic statement, since furries are people who are interested in animal characters, and not actually animals. But perhaps more importantly, the school keeps both furry and non-furry kids caged up so their parents can go to their own cages and be productive members of society. So why only fight for freedom for some humans, and not others? I guess, like a farm of animals, some humans are more equal than others. Sadly that reference will be lost on these protestors, because they skipped class.

The school’s public information officer said in the ABC4 report that the protestors never really indicated what exactly they wished to have changed.


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To these slackers that saw this as an easy way to skip class, what can furries say, except “you’re welcome”?

And to those alleged adults online worried about our kid’s future because of the furries. These kids seem to be clearly far cleverer than you to take advantage of this situation you created to get out of work. They’ll be just fine and can get back to their studies, as long as you stop giving them such easy get out of class free cards like this.

Though perhaps more likely is that the future will fall upon those students who didn’t take advantage of this situation for selfish reasons and kept to their studies. Moving themselves further ahead towards their own productive futures, while the protestors let themselves fall even further behind. So much for no child left behind, as long as they succumb to internet rumors their parents also believe. No worries everything will be just fine, your kids will be as dumb as you, just as you always wanted.

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It's like Friedrich Nietzsche said: schools are like prisons!

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"Keep it out of school hours" aka the heckler's veto - only the bullies get to do what they want.

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I'll note here that the picture that was added to this was the 2007(?) protest at Anthrocon, not the Utah school.

Sure there is some copyright issues on the recent photos that made it so that Green chose that one instead.

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Yeah, I also didn't want to use photos of current children in that context. It's a bit less clear on mobile as you don't get access to the tooltip, at least not in full. The photo's described on the page you go to when clicked.

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Using stock or non-related photos in a story is a pet peeve I have about media today. It became a way to give a story legitimacy. The issue is when the story is not factual. (not this one)

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What do you think stock photos are for

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My problem is the use of unrelated pictures to lend credibility to story or a way to deny criticism of a story especially where there are problems truthfulness with the story.
For example, a false story says furries use litterbox using a picture of a random fursuiter. The picture is a way to influence the person when the story is claiming even though it is false.
For me I have discipline myself to ignore the picture and read only the text unless the picture is related to the story. (I would have no problem showing a picture of a con hotel if the story is about a con in that hotel).

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You didn't answer the question

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What do you think rhetorical questions are for

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Where is y'all's punctuation? 🙀

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Check between the > and shift key on your keyboard.

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So this is just a large scale version of "blaming the victim" when it comes to bullying...

"Instead, it would appear that this was an incident that was far more nuanced than social media would have you believe."

That pretty much applies to everything you see on social media.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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A 'clever way' is a bit of a stretch. I'm sure dozens of haters have dreamt up this idea before. We're more surprised by the fact it actually happened.
The disappointment doesn't come from the fact furries were the targeted group but rather they chose furries over anything else that could have at least looked a little more productive. Yet, they always get upset by a problem that doesn't exist. Maybe that's why they should stay in school.

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Just think of it as "one neat trick" - cleverness is in the eye of the beholder. 🦘

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Sat Lake Tribune puts out another analysis of the story.
“The group of students being targeted, he added, were students who sometimes come to school wearing headbands “that may have ears on them.” He said doesn’t think the targeted students necessarily refer to themselves as “furries.”
“These are pretty young kids,” he said. “You’ll have students that show up with headbands and giant bows; you’ll have students that show up dressed as their favorite basketball player, or baseball player. That’s just what kids this age do.”
“In one specific instance, the targeted students “were sitting in a corner of the lunchroom, eating as a group of friends” when others began calling them names and throwing food at them “because they were dressed differently,” Sorenson told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday, providing more details about the situation.”
It is important to point out that the victims of the bullies may not necessary are part of the furry fandom. They may be interested in Anime (Nekochans and shows like Tokyo Mew Mew) or they just like the ears. I also fail to see how students wearing ear head bands is disrupting at school especially they are sold in store like Claires, Hot Topic and Forever 21. Even Sanrio went into the game selling ear bands of popular characters like Hello Kitty, My Melody, Cinamolol and Kuromi.
What I see is a school instead of disciplining the bullies with detention and suspension, the school issues a “can we get along letter.” Something happened and the bullies escalated the situation by making false claims barking, biting and harassment against furries. The claims are picked up by shock atrocity tourism sites like Lib of Tick Tok and now things are flipped by blaming the victims not the bullies.

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Now the school in question is getting regular bomb threats (which strikes me as a great way to ruin your life in fifteen minutes).

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I mean, anyone Libs of TikTok talks about get these kind of threats.

All the McVeighs are her biggest fans it seems.

I mean, even if the rumor was 100% true that they believe, blowing a place up because some kid was allegedly bitten seems a proportional and rational response.

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