Man Who Wants To Run Oklahoma’s Schools Buys Into Bogus ‘Cat Litter’ Conspiracy Theory

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Politics

A man who wants to run Oklahoma’s school system has pushed a claim about liberals supposedly installing litter boxes in schools to accommodate students who identify as cats, even though it’s been debunked as a myth. Republican Ryan Walters’ comments appeared in a video posted by The Lost Ogle, an Oklahoma blog. The site said Walters was “talking to a group of fellow right-wing voters earlier this month at a meeting in Stillwater.”Advertisement“I got a call over the weekend from a former colleague and he said, ‘Ryan, I’m telling you right now…’” Walters said, before his voice trailed off a bit. ”Have you heard about the litter boxes stuff?” he then asked the audience. “This was a legitimate faculty meeting where the counselors and administrators were talking to the staff ― are you ready? ― about whether they should allow litter boxes in the bathrooms for kids that identify as cats,” he said. An unseen audience member can be heard among the audible reactions saying, “Oh my God.”Walters then finished up the anecdote by returning to his former colleague’s reaction.“And my buddy said, ‘Hey, I’m just going to tell you, I’m not teaching anymore if that happens. Like, I love teaching, it’s my passion, but I’m out of here. Like that is such a sense of, like, nonsense, I can’t pretend that that’s right. I’m out of here,’” Walters said.“That is not an issue at McAlester Public Schools.”- Dr. Robert Steeber, superintendent of McAlester, Oklahoma, public schoolsAdvertisementThe idea that school children are identifying as cats and demanding to be allowed to use cat litter instead of toilets has been debunked repeatedly as essentially an urban legend. Nonetheless, it has been repeated by several Republican candidates for office at various levels. Even podcaster Joe Rogan said he had heard the same thing, before recently taking it back.An analysis by NBC News looked at 20 of those reports, and the districts named either told the outlet or stated publicly that no such incidents had occurred. Reuters, The Associated Press and USA Today have also debunked the idea.While it was not clear if Walters was saying someone he knew had seen or attended such a meeting or that he had, the candidate presented it as a real thing to the audience in the video.Emails to a Walters campaign website and to his official email at his secretary of education post ― an appointed posit …

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