A school district in Michigan has denied a bizarre rumor that litter boxes were provided in a school restroom for students who identify as “furs”.
“It is inadmissible that this afternoon I am sending this communication,” Midland Public Schools Superintendent Michael Sharrow wrote in a community post shared on Facebook Thursday.
“There is no truth in this false statement/accusation! There have never been litter boxes in MPS schools.
The school district was forced to provide a clarification after a parent named Lisa Hansen said furries – people who are interested in animals and dress up as them – were given litter boxes in the bathrooms of school.
She made the claim at a district school board meeting on December 20.
“Yesterday I heard something and I was stunned, and today I’m just as stunned and a little upset. Well, not a little, a lot a little upset – furious; I would even use that word” , said Ms. Hansen.
“I heard that at least one of our schools in our city has, in one of the unisex bathrooms, a litter box for kids who identify as cats. And uh, I’m really troubled by it,” she added.
Ms Hansen said she wanted to ‘do further investigation’ and claimed it was a ‘nationwide’ issue.
“I’m all for creativity and imagination, but when someone lives in a fantasy world and expects others to accept it, I have a problem with that,” she said.
“This whole fur thing just got to me. I’m staying calm, but I’m not happy about it, and it happened on your watch, and I don’t understand it,” she added.
A video of Ms Hansen has since gone viral and racked up hundreds of views as well as comments on conservative social media pages.
School board members did not respond to the allegations at last month’s meeting.
Meshawn Maddock, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party whose name emerged as one of 16 fake voters who allegedly signed illegitimate ballot certificates, spoke about the issue on social media.
“Children who identify as ‘furrys’ are given a litter box in the school bathroom. Hero parents will take over our schools,” she said in a Facebook post.
In Friday’s statement, Mr Sharrow noted the “wild accusations” and said they were such a “source of disappointment that I felt the need to convey this message to you”.
“In this world of division/litigation that we currently find ourselves in, I ask that if you hear wild accusations that do not sound like something your school board, administration, Midland Public Schools District would be a part of, take a time to message me MPSConnect,” he said.
The accusations came as school officials and parents remained at odds over gender-neutral facilities in schools designed to make schools more inclusive of other genders, including transgender and non-binary students.
The policy sparked an uproar in Loudoun County, Virginia last year after a 14-year-old boy, who identified as non-binary and wore a skirt, was accused of assaulting a female student in the girl’s bathroom.
The Independent Gt