School district denies wild rumours that litter boxes were given to students who identified as ‘furries’

Superintendents of the school say there was ‘no truth whatsoever to this false statement’

Shweta Sharma
Monday 24 January 2022 09:42
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<p>Representational: A Michigan school district was forced to offer a clarification after a parent’s claim of litter boxes being given to students went viral </p>

Representational: A Michigan school district was forced to offer a clarification after a parent’s claim of litter boxes being given to students went viral

A Michigan school district has rubbished a bizarre rumour that litter boxes were provided at a school bathroom for students who identified as “furries.”

“It is unconscionable that this afternoon I am sending this communication,” Midland Public Schools superintendent Michael Sharrow wrote in a community message shared on Facebook on Thursday.

“There is no truth whatsoever to this false statement/accusation! There have never been litter boxes within MPS schools.”

The school district was forced to issue a clarification after a parent named Lisa Hansen said furries – people who have an interest in animals and dress up as them – were provided with litter boxes in school bathrooms.

She made the claim during a district board of education meeting on 20 December.

“Yesterday I heard something, and I was stunned, and today I am equally stunned and a little bit upset. Well, not a little bit, a lot a bit upset — furious; I would even use that word,” Ms Hansen had said.

“I heard that at least one of our schools in our town has a, in one of the unisex bathrooms, a litter box for the kids that identify as cats. And um, I am really disturbed by that,” she added.

Ms Hansen said she wanted to “do some more investigation” and claimed this was a “nationwide” issue.

“I’m all for creativity and imagination, but when someone lives in a fantasy world and expects other people to go along with it, I have a problem with that,” she had said.

“This whole furry thing has just got me. I’m staying calm, but I’m not happy about it, and it’s happened on your watch, and I don’t understand it,” she further said.

A video of Ms Hansen has since gone viral and racked up hundreds of views as well as comments on conservative social media pages.

The school board members had not responded to the allegations during last month’s meeting.

Meshawn Maddock, a chairwoman of the Michigan Republican party whose name emerged as one of the 16 fake electors who reportedly signed illegitimate electoral vote certificates, spoke about the issue on social media.

“Kids who identify as ‘furries’ get a litter box in the school bathroom. Parent heroes will TAKE BACK 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 necessity to communicate this message to you”.

“In this divisive/contentious world in which we currently find ourselves, I ask that if you hear wild accusations that don’t sound like something in which your Midland Public Schools Board of Education, Administration, District would be part, take a moment to send an MPSConnect message to me,” he said.

The accusations had come as school officials and parents remained in loggerheads over neutral facilities in schools designed to make schools more inclusive of other genders, including transgender and non-binary students.

The policy had triggered an uproar in Loudoun County, Virginia last year after a 14-year-old boy, who identified himself as non-binary and wore a skirt, was accused of assaulting a female student in the girl’s bathroom.

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