A GOP lawmaker in Nebraska is apologizing after he cited a debunked claim about schools installing litter boxes in bathrooms to accommodate students who identify as cats.
According to the Associated Press Sen. Bruce Bostelman repeated the false claim during a public, televised debate on a bill intended to help school children who have behavioral problems.
“I’m a little shocked,” Bostelman said. “It’s something called furries. If you don’t know what furries are it’s where school children dress up as animals — cats or dogs — during the school day. They meow and they bark and they interact with their school, with their teachers in this fashion.”
“And now schools are wanting to put litter boxes in the schools for these children to use,” he added. “How is this sanitary?”
The false claim that children who identify as cats are using litter boxes in school bathrooms began in December when a member of the public brought it up at a school board meeting for Midland Public Schools northwest of Detroit.
The district superintendent debunked the claim saying there has “never been litter boxes within MPS schools.”
Bostelman later backtracked and acknowledged that the story wasn’t true after speaking with state Sen. Lynne Walz (D) who leads the Legislature’s Education Committee, and confirmed there were no such incidents.
“It was just something I felt that if this really was happening, we needed to address it and address it quickly,” Bostelman said.