Michigan school charges $482 for documents on students identifying as animals

(The Center Square) – One Michigan school district has about 700 documents about therians – students identifying as “a species of non-human animal on every level except physical.”

Utica Community Schools in Macomb County said it would charge The Center Square $482.94 to produce more than 700 documents with the words “therian” or “therians.”

Much of the cost is searching, redacting sensitive information and time spent copying documents from its roughly 25,000 student population.

The Center Square filed records requests at nine school districts after discovering students at the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools identify as a therian – specifically an Arctic fox. Therians walk around on all four limbs while wearing an animal tail and a mask – called “quadrobics.”

PCCS students presentations explained one student has been a therian for five months.

Midland Public Schools, which has about 7,436 students, said it would charge The Center Square $458.64 to produce an undetermined number of documents about therians.

“The District has not determined that a waiver or reduction of the fees assessed for processing your FOIA request is in the public interest,” Director of Human Resources Karen M. Justin wrote in an email.

PCCS, which has about 16,000 students, charged The Center Square $69 for the records despite having more than double the student population.

Rochester Community Schools provided the documents including news alerts of TCS reporting and the original FOIA request to The Center Square for no cost.

The Lansing School District billed The Center Square $377 for the same documents for its roughly 10,000 students.

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