First and foremost, the rumors of furries taking over a Utah middle school are false.

As background, last week a published story said several students at Mt. Nebo Middle School in Payson were identifying as "furries," licking and biting fellow students and causing mayhem at the learning facility.

A group of students then organized a protest/walkout against the "furries," saying they refused to be bullied by the group and wanted to be treated like human beings, not animals.

Somehow, the story kept growing from there.

And it was all false.

The only evidence of furries at the school was a blurry video of a pair of kids at recess hopping around like frogs.

Imagine that, kids playing at recess.

A few days after the protest/walkout, a petition with nearly 3,000 signatures urged school officials to enforce school dress code policies and forbid children from dressing like animals -- or anthropomorphic furries.

The only problem with the petition was that no one was actually dressing that way.

"There was nothing to substantiate the claims," said one Payson mother.

In Washington County, school district representative Steve Dunham said this is a non-issue.

"There aren't any furries, there aren't any litter boxes or children taking on the identity of animals," he said. "It's just not true. it's not happening, at least not in our school district."

Supposedly there is a large furry population in the United States. One website claims there are as many as 2000,000 people nationwide who identify as a furry, or take on what it calls their own "fursona."

Dr. Sharon E. Roberts, in an interview with the New York Post, said furries are just engaging in fantasy fun, as long as they don't take it too far.

“Furries — like so many others who have hobbies — engage in limited fantasy,” she said. “[Someone who] cosplays as Captain Kirk is unlikely to show up for work on Monday and demand that their phone be replaced with a Star Fleet Communicator. Similarly, furries might attend a furry convention, local meet-up, or simply connect with like-others online, but they return to everyday life on Monday — just like everyone else.”

The reported origin of the furry fad comes from all those animated movies by Disney, Pixar and the like that show animals walking, talking and behaving just like humans.

Mostly furries are harmless, especially if, like Dr. Roberts said, they know the appropriate time to turn it off.

I have a find who cosplays as a medieval warriors, but I know for a fact he drives a car and wears normal clothes when he's not at convention.

Heck, my daughters used to dress up as princesses. But there's no royalty in my bloodline.

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