October 15, 2022

Conservatives will believe anything if it fits in with their narrative. They even think that former President Donald Trump didn't incite the Jan. 6 riot that he clearly incited. So, it comes as no surprise that Republican candidates have fallen for a hoax that claims that students who identify as cats are provided with a litter box by educators.

NBC News found that at least 20 right-wing candidates and elected officials have publicly claimed that this year's schools are providing children who identify as cats with litter boxes and allowing them to only talk in meows.

Via NBC News:

Every school district that has been named by those 20 politicians said either to NBC News or in public statements that these claims are untrue. There is no evidence that any school has deployed litter boxes for students to use because they identify as cats.

But the claim has taken on a life of its own among a growing number of Republicans, conservative influencers, and political commentators.

The outlet reports that during a legislative hearing in Tennessee last month, two Republican state lawmakers discussed the "growing crisis" of public schools providing litter boxes for children who identify as cats and claimed without evidence that it's happening across the state.

In Colorado, GOP gubernatorial nominee Heidi Ganahl insisted in several recent interviews that students were dressing and identifying as cats, disrupting class, and the state's schools were tolerating it. Some children, she alleged, would only communicate in barks and hisses. Her campaign declined to answer questions about Ganahl's claims, but in one interview with a local Fox affiliate, she suggested "there's a lot of this going on" in Jefferson County.

Oh, no one is surprised to see that Boebert's name is in here:

At a luncheon for Republican women in Mesa County, Colorado, last week, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., warned that educators "are putting litter boxes in schools for people who identify as cats."

This right wing fairy tale grew out of the fact that school emergency kits for lockdowns include a container of kitty litter for kids to use to go to the bathroom. Because little kids who are locked in a closet with their teacher and classmates while waiting for a gunman to make his way to their classroom sometimes have to pee.

That's the real story.

At least 20 GOP candidates are propagating this lie to feed their culture wars, likely to undermine rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Even worse, people believe them when they say something so outlandish that it would make the rest of us question their sanity. And this is an additional way to demonize teachers.

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