My jaw dropped when discussion of teens who identify with or as animals, Furries, came local.

“Imlay City Schools have litter boxes in the bathroom,” a Yale Alum said.

“Whaaaa?” I thought.

I’m rarely silent but having no information on this topic, I did keep my mouth shut at the recent get together lunch in Sanilac County.

My daughters and husband graduated from Imlay. We live a mile from town. How did this info get past my news junkie senses?

I started asking a few people what this trend/fad was all about and if true, wouldn’t it add unneeded distractions in the classroom? Turns out it’s not just a subject focused locally. A relative who lives across the state said she heard a district school south of her was pondering putting in a bathroom specifically for Furries. One local told me second hand, Sandusky is dealing with it. I was told, and yes secondhand, of at least one local student who wears part of a costume – a tail.

The best way to find out if truth or tale was to get myself to last Monday’s (Sept. 26) Imlay City School Board meeting. I presented my concerns that if the rumors were true and Furries did indeed need special accommodations, would doing so water down rules across the board?

With a dress code and likely a behavior code, how would a kid wearing what was perceived as revealing or unacceptable clothing get chastised for causing a distraction or one acting in a disrespectful way?

Superintendent Dr. Stu Cameron said he too had heard of supposed Furry goings on but not so.

“Rumor—not a practice here,” Dr. Cameron said.

He surmised the rumor of litter boxes likely came because of the COVID pandemic. In an effort to stem the spread, some districts put litter in various shaped receptacles for students to dispose of saliva from instrument spit valves rather than into a fountain or sink.

Anyone curious will find the internet awash with stories of Furries, true or perhaps not.

—Bernie Hillman,
Imlay Twp.