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Schools sanction fur movement

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Schools sanction fur movement

SOME schools in Dumfriesshire are permitting pupils to attend classes wearing fluffy ears, tails and paws.

It is part of a worldwide movement known as ‘furries’, in which people identify with animals, going so far as to dress in full fur suits to embody their ‘fursona’.

While there are no reports so far of youngsters locally donning full character costumes, students of different ages have been seen in several schools over the last few months, including in Annandale and Eskdale, wearing animal accessories, exhibiting animal behaviour and making associated noises.

In other cases, elf style ears have also been worn by some children.

When approached this week for a comment, Dumfries and Galloway Council released two statements on the matter.

The first said: “We have uniform policies in place at our secondary schools. Uniform policies were created in consultation with pupils, parents/carers and staff. We would consider items such as elf ears, furry ears, paws and tails to be outwith our current uniform policy.”

But when asked if they will therefore be issuing more guidance to schools, they then said: “School uniform policy is the responsibility of each individual school, as it is important that the policy represents the views of those who are linked to that individual school(s).

“Pupils are encouraged to express themselves in and out of our schools. The teaching and education of our young people is the priority to our staff. Pupils who do not meet the uniform guidelines are reminded of the policy and are asked to dress to meet this guidance.

“However, a young person would not be excluded from being educated due to what they chose to wear to school on any particular day. Whilst our school’s practice our uniform policy, the educational experience of our young people is of paramount importance.”

Furry fandom has its foundations in science fiction and started to grow globally in the 1980s.

The Safer Schools website describes furries as “people who have an active interest in animal characters with human characteristics.”

And they say: “It is important to note that the furry community is founded on building confidence and respecting the creative choices and expressions of its members.”

They have also published advice on their website for parents and carers on how to further handle conversations about furries and support youngsters with an interest in furry fandom.

Go to www.oursaferschools.co.uk to find out more.

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