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The Pawprint | ENHS

The Pawprint | ENHS

The Pawprint | ENHS

Paw-litics Hurting Students

Illustrated by Tegan Singleton

One of the greatest strengths of our student body is the incredible diversity of interests and backgrounds. 

However, not every identity is equally appreciated. 

Recently, a State House bill was filed by Republican Representative and Bigfoot hunter Justin Humphrey that seeks to prohibit ‘furry’ activity at school. Oklahoma HB 3084 claims that students who ‘engage in anthropomorphic behavior’ would be excluded from the classroom and even have ‘animal control services contacted to remove the student.’

The bill has quickly become a highly controversial topic of conversation, with many students strongly showing their opposition.

Accordingly to one junior at Edmond North who identifies as a furry, the bill is an unnecessary “prohibition of education” that seeks to unjustly pull students from the classroom. They further stated that “no one is being harmed just because the furries are being cringe,” explaining that furries in school are not a real threat to education.

Many speculate that the bill is a ploy to embarrass or discourage students with unconventional interests; this stems from the fact that furry culture online is heavily associated with so-called “weird” behavior. In fact, it is commonly misunderstood that furries ‘believe they’re animals’—this notion is in turn used to discredit and dehumanize students in this community.

Another furry, a senior, claims that this ideology makes it “suffocating” to be themself, causing them to be uncomfortable while at school. At times, the misdirected hate and bullying causes them and others they know to feel unsafe in the classroom, saying that the bill will “make being a furry in Oklahoma extremely unsafe for people still in school.”

Bullying and ostracism is not a foreign idea to high schoolers, but some students face torment so extreme that they have to hide their entire identity to avoid harsh criticism or potential violence. Although furry students are not particularly abundant, the hatred against them is. 

It is no secret that most people dislike furries, with jokes and videos expressing this being shared constantly. However, most enemies of furries have false ideas of what a furry even is, expressing disgust at something that doesn’t exist and projecting it onto their classmates. 

Despite being a harmless online hobby surrounding art and cosplay, many associate furry culture with mental illness or antisocial attitudes, attempting to further ostracize an already misrepresented community.

The bill, which will be presented in March, would only further this stigmatization that leads to bullying and a loss in the quality of education for many students. 

No matter our differences, we owe our fellow students the dignity and respect that we demand for ourselves.

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About the Contributor
Ethan Leehan
Ethan Leehan, Senior Editor
Ethan Leehan is a senior at Edmond North as well as at Francis Tuttle Bioscience and Medicine Academy. He enjoys baking, cooking, science and writing. Ethan plans to attend university under a Biochemistry and Linguistic Anthropology double major.

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  • J

    John McFursonFeb 5, 2024 at 11:19 am

    Superb article! I have always felt terrible about the various injustices furries face in this troubled society. I hold deep hopes and prayers for my furry friends freedom.

  • L

    LeslieJan 31, 2024 at 10:57 am

    Great article!