No, New Hampshire students aren’t using litterboxes, school officials say in response to Bolduc’s claim 

  • Don Bolduc, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds up a mailing from the opposition as he campaigns at the Auburn Tavern, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Auburn, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) Mary Schwalm

Monitor staff
Published: 11/2/2022 5:26:59 PM
Modified: 11/2/2022 5:26:40 PM

Pinkerton Academy was quick to quash a claim made by Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc last weekend that the school places litterboxes in the classrooms for students who identify with the subculture known as furries.

“It has come to our attention that at a recent event in Claremont, Don Bolduc named Pinkerton in false claims suggesting that unhygienic, disturbing practices are taking place in our classrooms and spaces on campus,” school officials said in a statement that was posted on Twitter Monday. “We want to assure our community that Mr. Bolduc’s statements are entirely untrue.”

The claim was made at a campaign event last week, according to an audio recording published by CNN on Sunday. In the recording, Bolduc, who is running against incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan, can be heard saying that some New Hampshire schools allow students to behave like cats in the classroom, hissing and licking themselves and others. He specifically named Pinkerton Academy, located in Derry, and also mentioned the town of Dover.

The Dover School District has also refuted the claim. There are no litter boxes in Dover’s classrooms, superintendent William Harbron confirmed Wednesday.

The claim is an urban myth that has become a common GOP talking point in states nationwide, and plays on two of the party’s divisive issues: gender identity and education accommodations. Last month, NBC reported that at least 20 conservative candidates and elected officials have made the public school furry litterbox claim in various states this year. There is no evidence that this is true in any U.S. school, according to Reuters Fact Check.

Furries are a subculture of people who share an interest in anthropomorphic animals, and sometimes roleplay in costume.

School districts in Maine, Vermont, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Michigan have all debunked rumors that they have accommodated children identifying as animals in response to what has become known as “furry panic” in their communities.

“We invite all political candidates to speak with members of our administration or visit our campus so they can inform themselves about our school before making claims about what occurs here,” Pinkerton Academy’s statement said.

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

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