Republican Nebraska state Sen. Bruce Bostelman apologized Monday for repeating a rumor alleging that schools are placing litter boxes in bathrooms for students identifying as cats.
Bostelman repeated a false claim spreading across the internet that school administrators are providing litter boxes to children identifying and dressing up as cats, The Associated Press reported. The state senator said he was “shocked” by these reports during a debate on introduced legislation intended to provide for children with behavioral issues.
“They meow and they bark and they interact with their teachers in this fashion,” Bostelman said during a televised debate. “And now schools are waiting to put litter boxes in the schools for these children to use. How is this sanitary?”
A floor speech from Nebraska State Senator Bruce Bostelman that “is about something called furries.”
Just gonna leave this here: pic.twitter.com/drn6jUgCXf
— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) March 28, 2022
The state senator referenced “furries,” which are people that identify and dress up as animals. He cited reports that a student identifying as a cat defecated on the floor due to the school district’s refusal to provide a litter box. (RELATED: ‘Drag Queens In Training’: NYC Department Of Education Children’s Show Features 12 Minutes Of ‘Lil Miss Hot Mess’ Reading And Dancing)
“Some kids can’t wear an American flag walking through the school on their shirt? And you keep them out of school? And you kick them out of school but it’s ok if they wear a cat costume? And that’s fine and you have a litter box for them? And that’s fine?” he continued.
Bostelman later walked back his claims after checking into reports with Democratic state Sen. Lynne Walz, the head of the Legislature’s Education Committee and finding no evidence that it had occurred in the state’s schools, the outlet reported.
“It was just something I felt that if this is really happening, we needed to address it and address it quickly,” he said.
He referred to Lincoln’s school district temporarily asking students not to fly American flags from their vehicles after one was pulled off its holder, the outlet reported. The district soon apologized and lifted the rule.
The litter box rumor began circulating in December after the issue was raised at Midland Public Schools school board meeting in northwest Detroit, the AP reported. The rumor has continued in a private Facebook group called “Protect Nebraska Children” and surfaced in an Iowa school district, forcing the superintendent to inform parents that the reports were “simply and empathetically not true,” the outlet reported.