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

A person who needs to run Oklahoma’s faculty system has pushed a declare about liberals supposedly putting in litter packing containers in colleges to accommodate college students who establish as cats, regardless that it’s been debunked as a fantasy.

Republican Ryan Walters’ feedback appeared in a video posted by The Lost Ogle, an Oklahoma weblog. The location mentioned Walters was “speaking to a bunch of fellow right-wing voters earlier this month at a gathering in Stillwater.”

“I acquired a name over the weekend from a former colleague and he mentioned, ‘Ryan, I’m telling you proper now…’” Walters mentioned, earlier than his voice trailed off a bit.

”Have you ever heard in regards to the litter packing containers stuff?” he then requested the viewers.

“This was a legit college assembly the place the advisors and directors have been speaking to the employees ― are you prepared? ― about whether or not they need to enable litter packing containers within the loos for teenagers that establish as cats,” he mentioned. An unseen viewers member might be heard among the many audible reactions saying, “Oh my God.”

Walters then completed up the anecdote by returning to his former colleague’s response.

“And my buddy mentioned, ‘Hey, I’m simply going to inform you, I’m not educating anymore if that occurs. Like, I like educating, it’s my ardour, however I’m out of right here. Like that’s such a way of, like, nonsense, I can’t fake that that’s proper. I’m out of right here,’” Walters mentioned.

“That’s not a problem at McAlester Public Colleges.”

– Dr. Robert Steeber, superintendent of McAlester, Oklahoma, public colleges

The concept that faculty youngsters are figuring out as cats and demanding to be allowed to make use of cat litter as an alternative of bathrooms has been debunked repeatedly as basically an city legend. Nonetheless, it has been repeated by a number of Republican candidates for workplace at numerous ranges. Even podcaster Joe Rogan mentioned he had heard the identical factor, before recently taking it back.

An analysis by NBC News checked out 20 of these studies, and the districts named both informed the outlet or said publicly that no such incidents had occurred. Reuters, The Associated Press and USA Today have additionally debunked the concept.

Whereas it was not clear if Walters was saying somebody he knew had seen or attended such a gathering or that he had, the candidate introduced it as an actual factor to the viewers within the video.

Emails to a Walters marketing campaign web site and to his official e-mail at his secretary of schooling publish ― an appointed place as a part of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s cupboard ― weren’t answered.

The video additionally left it unclear the place Walters’ “former colleague” labored, however Walters taught for eight years at McAlester Excessive Faculty, in accordance with his marketing campaign bio. There he was a finalist for Oklahoma Trainer of the 12 months in 2016.

Requested if McAlester had held such a gathering like that or one that would have been construed in that method, the district superintendent, Dr. Robert Steeber, informed HuffPost, “Now we have not.”

“That’s not a problem at McAlester Public Colleges,” he mentioned.

After narrowly profitable the Republican nomination to interchange present state superintendent Pleasure Hofmeister, Walters has been locked in a closer-than-expected battle with Democrat Jena Nelson, the 2020 Oklahoma Trainer of the 12 months, for the superintendent slot.

Whereas Walters’ present appointed publish provides him duty for numerous education-related boards and commissions, the superintendent in Oklahoma heads up the state Division of Schooling.

Man Who Wants To Run Oklahoma’s Schools Buys Into Bogus ‘Cat Litter’ Conspiracy Theory
Jena Nelson, the Democratic candidate for state faculty superintendent, could also be seeing her candidacy profit from having the present superintendent, Pleasure Hofmeister, working for governor.

The closeness of the race could also be a mirrored image of Hofmeister’s efforts to rally lecturers in her race for governor, in addition to issues by some about Walters, who lists essential race concept and trainer salaries as points on his web site, but additionally options abortion, gun rights and immigration.

Walters is on no account the primary Republican candidate to make the false declare about cat litter ― Don Bolduc, the GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire, also made the claim ― however he could also be one of many first candidates working for a statewide education-related workplace to take action.

At McAlester, he taught Superior Placement lessons in world historical past, U.S. historical past and U.S. authorities.

“Guys,” Walters added to the group, “if we don’t push again on the craziness, it’s not going to finish.”

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