In most cases if someone was to proclaim that there was cat litter being placed inside of public school bathrooms to accommodate students who chose to identify as a being that required such needs, people would laugh it off and then immediately dismiss it.
But in today’s political climate where the loudest voices seem to have the thinnest of skins and the most flammable of emotions, such a notion is given validity to the point that it makes national news.
That blurb came from The Guardian six months ago.
The rumor made its way around the country – even to Wilkes County, NC.
Even I was asked about it less than two weeks ago by a parent who said that they heard from a reliable source that schools were allowing students to identify as “furries.”
It isn’t necessarily disturbing that a rumor like this was ever made. What’s disturbing is that it gets traction and so much attention and has the ability to alter the perception of public schools to some people. And if they believe something like that, then the idea of rooting out claims of CRT, indoctrination, and grooming surely gets momentum.
The narrative that public schools have all of a sudden become an unsafe place for students because of what is “allowed” to happen in classrooms is about as ludicrous as thinking that cat litter is being placed inside of school bathrooms. But the traction that some of these insane notions get, it is not hard to see why so much attention has been paid to local school board elections and that candidates with baseless platforms are getting support.
A world in which cat litter makes many in the public feel negatively about public schools can only happen when a narrative has been constructed, groomed, and propagated by those in power whose mission is to weaken the public school system in order to more privatize education. When that narrative is joined with intentional actions that hurt the teacher pipeline, take away teacher empowerment, and harm the respect for the teaching profession, then mythical cat litter becomes a “legitimate” issue.
But there are many places, especially on West Jones Street in Raleigh, where a putrid diet of bad legislation, unfunded mandates, and a complete lack of respect for the professionals who teach our students has created quite a large amount of waste that needs to be somewhat more controlled in order to remove it.
That’s where the cat litter should really go.