Are Schools Forced To Accommodate Kids Who ‘Identify As Cats’?

Two curious stories relating to cats have been circulating online this week: In the first story, a substitute teacher claims she was fired because she refused to meow back to a student who “identifies as a cat,” while parents in a Michigan school district were infuriated by a rumor that the district was providing litter boxes to cat-identified students in school bathrooms.

First, the obvious, or perhaps not-so-obvious considering the media attention and outrage surrounding both stories: Neither one is true.

Why did people believe them? Because we’ve gone insane as a society, of course, and basic reality now means different things to different people depending on their political ideologies. If you’re on the left, you might think parents who aren’t sophisticated news consumers are so paranoid about school curricula, they’d believe just about anything. If you’re on the right, you’re might argue that some schools have gone so overboard with political correctness, it’s not a stretch to imagine privileges conferred on the allegedly cat-identified.

For those of us who subscribe to neither ideology, the whole thing is another sad example of the polarization that is destroying the US, the same divisive talk amplified by platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

But that’s beyond the scope of this blog, which is to celebrate cats, have a laugh and occasionally put the spotlight on animal welfare. I don’t want to lose readers by wading into a political landmine field, but most importantly I don’t want anyone to feel unwelcome on this site.

The Michigan incident started when a mom of kids at the Midland School District, about 130 miles northwest of Detroit, spoke at a school board meeting about a rumor — which she took as fact — alleging the school was accommodating “furries” by providing litter boxes in unisex bathrooms.

Lisa Hansen asked other parents to join her to “do some investigating” into the policy

“I’m all for creativity and imagination, but when someone lives in a fantasy world and expects other people to go along with it, I have a problem with that,” Hansen told the Midland school board. “This whole furry thing has just got me. I’m staying calm, but I’m not happy about it, and it’s happened on your watch, and I don’t understand it.”

Here’s the video: (It should start at the relevant section, but if it doesn’t, Hansen speaks at the 32:44 mark)

Hansen’s claims were picked up and reshared by a state GOP chairwoman, Meshawn Maddock, who warned “Parent heroes will TAKE BACK our schools” in a Facebook post.

The school’s superintendent, Michael Sharrow, was forced to do damage control with a public statement, telling parents it’s a “source of disappointment that I felt the necessity to communicate this message to you.”

“There is no truth whatsoever to this false statement/accusation,” Sharrow wrote. “There have never been litter boxes within MPS schools.”

The story about the fired substitute also had its roots in an online video, with a woman who says she’s a teacher relating the story via TikTok. The woman, who uses the handle @crazynamebridgetmichael, said she was taking attendance when a student responded to his name with feline vocalizations.

“I get to the third row and I hear this ‘meow!’ ‘Uhhh, excuse me? Excuse me?'” she said in the TikTok video. “I start looking on the ground, through the fourth row—everything’s good. Go to the fifth row—everybody’s there. Then I hear ‘meow!’ I’m like, ‘Okay, what’s up with that? Who’s doing it?’ And this little girl in the very front row says, ‘You have to meow back at him; he identifies as a cat.’ Are you kidding me?”

The student stormed out of the classroom when she laughed at him, she said, and the school’s administration fired her: “They said ‘We no longer need your services if you can’t identify with all the children in the classroom.'”

The story was picked up by several widely-read sites, included in Tucker Carlson’s daily newsletter, and reshared on prominent Twitter accounts in addition to going viral on Facebook.

PJ Media: The Substitute and the Cat
The story was widely shared on social media and reported by a few dozen online media outlets.

The Cat and the Substitute

The only problem is it isn’t true. In a follow-up video the teacher admitted she made up the story to “create awareness of what kids are going through at school.” She didn’t elaborate, so it’s not clear if she was criticizing school policies for allowing students to identify as different genders or arguing that kids’ needs aren’t accommodated. Occam’s Razor would indicate she was just chasing clicks.

The one thing that’s certain, however, is that cats don’t deserve to be in the middle of this mess.

Top image: A 20-year-old Norwegian woman who identifies as a cat. The woman says she was “born the wrong species.” “My psychologist told me I can grow out of it, but I doubt it,” she told an interviewer. “I think I will be cat all my life.”

19 thoughts on “Are Schools Forced To Accommodate Kids Who ‘Identify As Cats’?”

  1. I read that a comedian joked how he asks to be regarded with the possessive pronoun “there”, because he identifies as a place.

    Having said that, I can picture Family Guy creating much fanfare with this fictional student-cat-identity and substitute-teacher-noncompliance story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t realize they’re still making new episodes of Family Guy. It’s like that show and South Park are sort of “grandfathered in” and get away with things due to their success, but new shows wouldn’t be allowed near some of these topics with a 10-foot pole. It’s a lot easier to weather calls for cancellation when you’ve been around for 20 years, you’ve made billions for your parent company and you have a contract that keeps you on TV for years yet.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question! Since insurance won’t cover vet visits, and I doubt most vets want to participate in the “I’m a cat” delusion, I’m thinking their options are limited to doctors.

      Like

  2. Author lied. Either she was paid to lie by the democrats about this TRUE movement by the democrat back kids movement to get special privledges ) like LBGTQ and BLM followers ..

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    1. Hi John: I’m a guy and I make no money from this site other than through ads, which I only enabled a month ago. I don’t accept sponsored posts and I have a no-politics policy, even for politics-adjacent subjects like this.

      This site is about cats, and I want everyone who loves cats to feel welcome here.

      As for this particular subject, I have thoroughly looked into the viral stories about schools accommodating students who “identify as cats,” and they’ve all turned out to be rumors or hoaxes. There are websites that claim there is a “catgender” movement, but that is a different thing.

      I’m sure you can appreciate the difference between internet bullshittery and a legitimate, verified instance of a school district making allowances for “furries” or putting litter boxes in school bathrooms.

      If we do encounter a verifiable story about a school district doing that, I’ll absolutely write about it.

      Thanks

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  3. This is freak’n ridiculous! Seriously, “Parents” are allowing their kids to think they are cats! No wonder they get confused, self conscious, low self esteem, and a lot more negative issues. Be a serious parent or parents. How were you or your family members conceived?! Any cats involved? Please!

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  4. Where did you get your info. This is true in many states including the one in which I live (Tennessee). I was told by a teacher friend in Georgia that this is true in her state as well. Do your research.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheryl, if you have the name of the school district, and you can show me proof in the form of a written school policy, and put me in touch with your teacher friend in Georgia who can give me verifiable details, I’ll be happy to write another follow-up article.

      But as of right now, I have not been able to verify a single one of the claims. They’re all just like yours: A friend of a friend says it happened in their daughter’s district, or a teacher friend said she heard a school put a litter box in a bathroom.

      That’s hearsay. Proof would be a letter home to parents, a notice on a district website, a copy of a school policy, that sort of thing. As well as corroboration from a superintendent, principal or teacher who can say this is happening in their district.

      This is a cat-focused blog, so my interest here is the idea that cats have been dragged into the ongoing American culture wars. I don’t take a political position and will not, as it’s important for all cat lovers to feel comfortable reading the site and participating in discussions. Some things in life, like cats, are too good to be muddied by America’s toxic ideological wars.

      Cheers

      Like

  5. If they feel they are cats, they should stay home, get a liscense and a rabies shot and use their back yard or litter box. oh, don’t forget to stock up on cat food as human food isnt really good for them. They should not be allowed to attend school as school is meant for humans.
    Alternatively have them DNA tested. Oh, you are a human? Sorry, no feline accomadations in the school.
    You want to communicate by meowing? Sorry, not a known recognizable language. Can’t even google interprete for you.

    Like

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