No, Children Aren't Pooping In Litterboxes At School
What seems to be a popular strategy nowadays amongst lawmakers, political hopefuls, and election candidates, is just to say some truly insane #&$%. It tends to be a particularly beloved technique among the right, unsurprising after Donald Trump maybe didn’t invent, but certainly perfected the practice. They watched with awe as he would just trot onstage and say that windmills are killing bald eagles, and slowly realized that you can kind of just lie! Kill ‘em all and let Snopes sort ‘em out.
The latest person to test this approach was a Nebraska state legislator, Bruce Bostelman. During a televised debate that was meant to discuss how to handle children with behavioral problems at school, Bostelman loaded an absolute doozy into the chamber and let fly. Having received the floor, he began to address something that absolutely, verifiably does not exist: litter boxes in school bathrooms for children that self-identify as animals.
Said Bostelman, “They meow and they bark and they interact with their teachers in this fashion. And now schools are wanting to put litter boxes in the schools for these children to use. How is this sanitary?” Now, I have no way of knowing whether Bostelman actually believes this is happening. A while back, I would have assumed that these were nothing but bad faith arguments meant to rile people up. I was naive enough to think that the cognitive function it would take to become a legislator would naturally prohibit the belief of a rumor like this. I no longer possess that idealism, mostly due to the observation of Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has about as many brain cells in her head as a basketball has seeds.
Really, the only thing surprising about any of this is that he actually apologized. The apology has become taboo, it seems, because of the inherent admission of guilt within it. After all, there are very few ways to actually force an adult to apologize.
What I hate the most, though, about these “insane” theories and stories that are treated as true, is that you can almost always trace their basis and origin back to something sinister. It’s not hard to figure out where a story about students self-identifying as cats and dogs sprung up. It’s just a weird amalgam of bringing furries into whatever the latest debate to make sure trans childrens’ lives are as traumatic and terrifying as possible. They get to say something so insane that to even honestly criticize it would be stooping to their level, but the insanity just always cloaks real, hurtful beliefs.