‘Curb that behavior:’ Brevard school board considers new rules involving ‘furry dress attire’

School board members discussed prohibiting tails in schools

Matt Susin and other members of the Brevard County school board discussed steps the district could take in prohibiting "furry dress attire." (Sean Gallup, Brevard Public Schools/GettyImages)

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – During the Brevard Public Schools’ school board meeting on Tuesday, members brought up concerns about “furry dress attire” that had been reported in district schools.

In the meeting, school board members discussed the district’s dress code policy, which includes restrictions on things like sexual clothing, beachwear and gang paraphernalia.

However, Vice Chair Megan Wright brought up concerns she had heard regarding students dressing up as “furries” — a niche community of people interested in anthropomorphized animals.

Wright divulged comments the district received that pushed for attire like tank tops and hats to be allowed in schools, but some students reportedly voiced complaints about other students wearing “furry” garments.

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“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,’” District 5 Representative Katye Campbell said during the meeting. “I’m not a big fan of the furry movement, but at the same time, if ‘ears’ means a headband with pointed ears on them, it’s a hair accessory.”

Campbell added that other concerns regarding “furry” students were noted in the complaints.

“Tails are different, and students meowing and barking at other students: that’s not cool. But that’s not dress code,” Campbell stated.

Meanwhile, Board Chair Matt Susin said his daughter told him that she’s “tired of furries” in schools.

“I’m all about trying to find a way that that is not acceptable in any way because what it does is (students) then do the barking and all the other weird stuff,” Susin said. “This is something that comes up at our dinner table at least every month.”

Susin said he was interested in finding ways to modify the dress code to “curb that behavior.”

After a few minutes of discussion, however, District 3 Representative Jennifer Jenkins chimed in, deriding the board for even having the conversation.

“This is not rocket science, and it’s not an epidemic. If you don’t want tails on kids, just say you don’t want tails,” Jenkins said. “This is ridiculous. This conversation about furries is insane and a culture war conversation. The barking has nothing to do with that.”

Jenkins said that middle school students had developed a trend of barking and meowing at each other, but it wasn’t anything related to furries.

“It’s weird, but they’re doing it. It has nothing to do with a kid wearing a tail,” Jenkins continued. “It’s all the kids, unfortunately. Speak to your middle school teachers. They’ll tell you.”

Student Services Director Christopher Reed told the board that he could look into adding language to the dress code to help with the issue, such as prohibiting “clothing to emulate a non-human.”

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.