Students Dressed as Furries Could be Collected by Animal Control if New Oklahoma Bill Passes

If one Oklahoma representative gets his way, children who act like dogs and cats during school hours could be punished by… animal control. Yes, parents might soon have to collect their erstwhile kids from the pound — if Rep. Justin Humphrey’s bill makes it to the finish line as it stands today. That is, of course, if kids acting like animals at school is really that widespread a problem, which is up for debate.

Humphrey’s bill, which was filed Wednesday, seeks to put in place a law whereby “students who purport to be an imaginary animal or animal species, or who engage in anthropomorphic behavior commonly known as furries at school shall not be allowed to participate in school. … The parent or guardian of a student in violation of this section shall pick up the student from school, or animal control services shall be contacted to remove the student.”

The rep. tells Rolling Stone he was inspired to write the bill after hearing several reports of students disrupting school while engaging in animal-like behavior. He cites two such alleged incidents in which a grandchild of a friend took to crawling down the hallway while wearing a leash, and another where a student distracted classmates by meowing like a cat. He seemed most concerned, however, with the idea of students requesting litterboxes in the classroom, a favored talking point among right-wing politicians that has been debunked. Similar bills have been introduced in the past as well, but none have included the “animal control” language.

Humphrey says he’s heard “reports” of such instances but did not cite a specific incident. “Why are we going to bring in a litterbox and put it in a room? Are they allowing those kids to actually use litterboxes?” he asks, incredulous. “If you think that you’re an animal, that’s a mental health issue, and we need to get you mental health assistance. Some people are going to say, ‘Well, they’re being artistic.’ There’s nothing artistic about mental illness.”

When asked why he decided to use the term “furry” in his bill, Humphrey brought up mental health once more, saying: “There’s an actual psychological term that goes with that, but it’s very, very difficult to pronounce. So I just use furries because that’s what everybody’s calling them.” He also implies that dressing up as an animal is a fetish of sorts, and adds: “We’re there to educate. We’re not there to teach sexual habits.”

Although some furries are, indeed, into the lifestyle as a sort of sexual kink, that’s not the case for most. Gen-Z, in particular, has been known to embrace the subculture in a largely non-sexual way, likely due to the fact that a large number of furries identify as LGBTQ. As one furry told Rolling Stone previously: “The fandom is so open that they feel safer exploring their identity more than if they were living in a traditional household.” For them, then, the lifestyle is more about acceptance than sex.


But that’s all supposing children dressing up as animals in school is a persistent problem. In actuality, some schools have called the notion “an ugly rumor” — which hasn’t stopped other institutions from attempting to ban furries and animal-esque clothing. To his credit, Humphrey does acknowledge that these reports could be inaccurate or overblown. “If the reports are as frequent as I have heard, this [bill] feels really good,” he says. “If they’re not, if it’s just a rare occasion, I think we still need to address it.”

As for the whole animal control thing? The representative admits that it’s a bit of a joke. “If a dog showed up at school, you call animal control. And if you want to treat these people as actual animals, you call animal control. I’ll be happy to rewrite the language [to replace ‘animal control’ with mental health professionals]. But right now, I put that in there to make the point. A sarcastic point.”