A Michigan superintendent on Thursday debunked a conspiracy theory — pushed by the co-chair of the state Republican Party, among others — that schools were providing "litter boxes" in bathrooms for students who identify as "furries."
“It is unconscionable that this afternoon I am sending this communication,” Midland Public Schools (MPS) Superintendent Michael E. Sharrow wrote on Facebook. “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.”
According to the accusation, "litter boxes were provided within MPS student restrooms for those who identify themselves as ‘furries,'" Sharrow wrote.
“Let me be clear in this communication," Sharrow wrote. "There is no truth whatsoever to this false statement/accusation! There have never been litter boxes within MPS schools. It is a source of disappointment that I felt the necessity to communicate this message to you.”
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According to the Morning Sun, a “furry” is "someone who role-plays or identifies as an animal, or an animal character with human-like characteristics."
The newspaper reported that the conspiracy theory began during a school board meeting on Dec. 20, when a parent claimed that a school unisex bathroom included "a litter box, for the kids who identify as cats.”
“I am really disturbed by that,” the parent said. “I will do some more investigation on that.”
Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock promoted the conspiracy theory on Thursday.
"Kids who identify as ‘furries’ get a litter box in the school bathroom," she wrote on her official Facebook page above a video from the school board meeting. "Parent heroes will TAKE BACK our schools.”
Maddock was among 16 Republicans who signed a fake electoral certificate declaring the former president Donald Trump won Michigan in 2020.
Watch a clip from the school board meeting below.