A teenage girl who attends a private school in Melbourne, Australia has reportedly seen her “animal behavior” encouraged after she started identifying as a cat.
According to The Herald Sun, the “phenomenally bright” student in the seventh grade hardly participates in school and does not say a word in classroom discussions.
One parent told Courier Mail, “When a girl went to sit at a spare desk, another girl screamed at her and said she was sitting on her tail; there’s a slit in this child’s uniform where the tail apparently is.”
However, the school has rejected this parent’s claim.
One of the girl’s parents allegedly said the youngster was given permission to behave at school as if she were a cat so long as she did not distract herself or the other children.
In the school’s response, it chose not to confirm the student’s actions and said it has a support team working through a lot of psychiatric concerns with the adolescent.
According to an alleged source close to the girl’s family, “No one seems to have a protocol for students identifying as animals, but the approach has been that if it doesn’t disrupt the school, everyone is being supportive.”
The school has asserted that students were displaying “a range of issues, from mental health, anxiety or identity issues.”
“Our approach is always unique to the student and we will take into account professional advice and the wellbeing of the student,” the school said in a statement.
The viral story has implied that the girl may be a furry.
“Furries” are individuals who consider themselves to be animal characters and frequently dress up in costumes as an integral component of their “fursonas.”
There have been many reports of kids attending schools in the United States who describe themselves as being part of the furry subculture.
“Furries tend to be teens and young adults, though there are also plenty of adults in their late 20s and 30s in the fandom,” according to the Furry website FurScience.
“Creating a fursona is a creative exercise, which can have a number of psychological benefits. Inventing a character can help you think about who you are as a person and who you would like to become.”
“For example, if you’ve always stood out in school for being tall, having a giraffe fursona might help you feel more comfortable with your height,” the website stated.
However, so far the claims made by The Herald Sun lack evidence.
This is not the first time a story like this about furries has gone viral online, and there have already been many that were just false rumors.
At the beginning of this year, another newspaper owned by News Corp., the Courier Mail, reported on students at Brisbane Girls Grammar who identified as cats. This story was later debunked by the program Media Watch that was airing on the ABC at the time.
Also in January of this year, it was falsely claimed that a Michigan school provided litter boxes for students who identified as cats or were furries.
So are these reports about the “phenomenally bright” teen who identifies as a teen true?
Our conclusion: There is not enough information to label this story as true or false.
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