No, Midland Public Schools are not putting out litter boxes for students who identify as furries.
So says the district superintendent, who is annoyed he has to clarify after the district became the subject of a wild rumor amplified by Michigan Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock.
It started at a school board meeting with a woman who identifies as a concerned parent, The New York Times reports:
Lisa Hansen, says in the video that she was informed by someone the day before the meeting that litter boxes had been added to the “unisex bathrooms” for students who “identify as cats.”
“I was stunned,” Ms. Hansen says in the video. “And today I am equally stunned and a little bit upset — well, not a little bit, a lot of bit upset. Furious — I would even use that word.”
Ms. Hansen says in the video that there is an “agenda that is being pushed through our schools is — just my opinion — but somewhat nefarious when it comes to some of the activities.”
By the time video of the meeting made it onto Maddock's Facebook page, the allegedly cat-identifying children had become "furries" — people who like to dress up and behave like stuffed animals, sometimes for sexual gratification.
“Kids who identify as ‘furries’ get a litter box in the school bathroom,” Ms. Maddock wrote ... “Parent heroes will TAKE BACK our schools.”
The comment helped earn her a rebuke from the state's most influential conservative columnist this week. It also forced Superintendent Michael Sharrow to send a message referencing furries to parents districtwide.
“It is unconscionable that this afternoon I am sending this communication,” (he) wrote on Thursday in an email to parents ... “However, our Midland PS stakeholders may be confused about a false message/accusation that has resurfaced this week and is gaining traction in the social media realm.”
... Citing a backdrop of “this divisive/contentious world in which we currently find ourselves,” (he) urged parents to contact him if rumors like this surfaced again.
“It is such a source of disappointment that I felt the necessity to communicate this message to you,” he wrote.