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Claim about schools providing litter boxes for students debunked in several states

Schools are not putting litter boxes in bathrooms to accommodate children, as months of unfounded rumors have claimed. And though school districts have issued statements debunking the story multiple times, some social media posts are still spreading the erroneous information.

“So, now in schools, if a kid wants to identify as a furry, the school goes along with it?”, read an April 4 Facebook post. “Not making them participate. Or speak. And have policies ensuring no one mocks them? A furry. They’re identifying as animals. Even putting litter schools in the bathrooms in some? Have y’all heard about this?”

The post was later edited to add, “I have no litter box proof. Only rumor.”

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

School districts in Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska have debunked claims that they are providing litter boxes in bathrooms. We did not find any credible news reports that support the claim.

The rumor has been spreading persistently, but was unfounded each time:

  • An Iowa superintendent sent a letter to parents to dispel the myth.

  • In Michigan, a school superintendent also sent an email to parents to say the claim was false, after a parent stated it publicly at a school board meeting that garnered more than 80,000 views on YouTube.

  • A Nebraska state lawmaker publicly repeated the claim then apologized when he learned it wasn’t true.

  • In Wisconsin, several school districts debunked the claim, the AP reported.

Other, similar claims also have circulated in Wisconsin — where a school district denied that it allows students who identify as furries to lick their paws in gym class and bark in hallways — and in Texas, where a candidate for state office falsely claimed that cafeteria tables are being lowered to allow furries to eat without using utensils.

Our ruling

A Facebook post says schools are putting litter boxes in bathrooms to accommodate kids who identify as furries.

School districts in Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska have debunked claims that they are providing litter boxes in bathrooms.

We did not find any credible news reports that support the claim.

We rate the claim Pants on Fire!

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