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The Red Herring of the Litterbox in the Classroom
A Red Herring is defined as a logical fallacy or a plot device that forces a wrong conclusion in the audience to distract them from an important point. They’re often used in mystery movies as well as an argumentation method in the social, cultural and political sphere.
One real life use of the red herring in the political sphere is the consistent and on-going belief that there are students using litterboxes in classrooms. It seems to have taken hold as a popular rumor in Conservative circles, used to showcase the ever encroaching decay of Western values and normalizing of weird anti-social behavior by our institutions of learning. Except for one thing, it’s completely false.
Over at least a year I have put out challenges in my Conservative circles for even one person to present photo, memo or video evidence of a litterbox being deployed in a classroom or even inside of a school facility for use by students who identify as an animal. I have promised to anonymize information and release information strategically to avoid compromising the source. As of this date I have still not received any proof whatsoever except one particularly awful photoshopped picture. Yet in Conservative circles the rumors continue.
Elements of a Red Herring
There are some commonalities of “evidence” of these litter boxes:
The person making the claim often cites a friend of a friend, a friend of their child or a child they know, a teacher who has told them or a Principal that is embarrassed by the big secret.
When I press the claimant for a name or contact information, the person they are being told this information from wishes to keep it secret or does not wish to come forward publicly or privately worried about potential retaliation for revealing the big secret from a public institution, to the public.
I am told that they are scared to take pictures or video because it will be easily identifiable that it was them that leaked the information to me, even if I am provinces away or in a different Country then them and release the information strategically.
Children often do not have the same impulse control mechanisms to avoid social pressure or conformity that adults have yet scouring social media and Tik Tok I have still not been able to locate anyone who has uploaded pictures or videos of litterboxes in classrooms (or schools in general). I refuse to believe that students are hell bent on respecting the privacy of this matter. In Halton Ontario Students took multiple videos of the male teacher who wore double Z prosthetic fetish breasts and skirts in shop class and released them out to the world causing an absolute cultural shit storm. I cannot believe that similar actions would not be taken in this situation.
I am told that phones are not allowed in the schools so that’s why there is no recordings. Again when has a rule ever stopped a teenager or adult from not following them, especially in an issue as contentious as schools hiding things from parents. I refuse to believe that everyone just decided to follow the rules on this due to social pressure.
The claims almost exclusively come from Conservative circles, I have not encountered a Liberal yet who has made this claim. It is almost accepted as a common fact in Conservative circles despite no one actually ever encountering evidence of this in person.
Where did this rumor come from?
I cannot pin point an exact moment where this rumor evolved from. Perhaps it started as a “shit post” online somewhere or a counter-information post by leftists to discredit Conservatives concerned about teachers indoctrinating students. I am not sure but there are a few key areas that appear.
Students identifying as animals
There were a flurry of posts and political articles in 2022 about a 8 year old in a special needs class that identified as a cat. The school was inundated with questions about the potential for a litterbox to be present in the classroom to which the school denied such allegations. Going back further there were articles and blog posts about teachers respecting a students “fur identity” for students who identified as animals and otherkin. Even scouring these articles, there never appeared to be a push to formally recognize animal identities or accommodate them through the use of litter boxes.
As far back as when I was in high school there have been weirdo theater students who watched too much anime and submitted their terrible works on Deviantart who identified as animals or “otherkin”. In those days we just ignored or mocked them. There was never any push to legitimize these identities and that seems to have mostly remained consistent over the years.
There have been some recent tik tok videos and articles regarding some weirdo teachers who have been upset at students who mocked a student who identified as an animal but the rumors have been going on for too long for this to be the root of the issue and still provides no proof of litterbox usage in schools.
It’s an issue of conflating a real life cultural phenomenon with something that cannot be substantiated (or has failed to be so far)
Conservative Media pundits
Joe Rogan famously said at the height of the 2022 moral panic about the student who identifies as a cat that someone had a friend who was a school teacher who confirmed a litterbox in the bathroom. Listen to the clip yourself and note how many of the fallacies that I have listed above are heard mentioned here.
There have been other media figures that have spread the rumor as well, helping to solidify it into the mainstream.
School Shooter scenarios
In the strangest and most depressing but most probable connection to the rumor is that there are real reports of schools in the United States equipping teachers with a bucket of kitty litter to be used in the event of a prolonged school shooting where students are locked down in a classroom and require a bathroom. This is real but it is not an accurate connection that there are students identifying as animals being provided a litterbox to do their business in .
Implications of the Rumor
The key implication I believe of this rumor is to discredit the real concerns that Conservatives have with the ideological indoctrination of youth in Public Schools through Critical Theory. In some school districts teachers are keeping secrets from parents and introducing children to highly sexual material in younger and younger grades. From books that teach students to make Grindr accounts to others that encourage youth to “explore their gender identity”. Planned Parenthood recently brought information cards to a Lumsden Highschool that introduced the students to topics like scat and fisting. These are real things that are happening. At least one school has introduced a gender closet where the student arrives and changes into clothing of the opposite sex, accompanied by items like “packers” and “chest binders”. In one study 30% of students were identifying as LGBT now while the national standard of overall identification as LGBT in the population up until this point has remained around a steady 4%.
This rumor is a true red herring because it is a distraction from a real cultural phenomenon that is occurring that people should be concerned about. It enables the leftists to dismiss all concerns that Conservatives and moderates have as hyperbole and misinformation which only creates more confusion in the cultural habitus.
My final thoughts on this is that Conservatives need to drop this issue and any Conservative that claims that they have intimate knowledge of a litter box in a classroom (or school) needs to challenge their source to produce evidence of such and if they cannot, to not pass the rumor to the next person. Don’t give the leftists any more ammunition to discredit legitimate concerns.
As always though, should someone have proof of such an allegation of a litter box in a classroom (or school) please follow up with me, until then though this rumor is debunked.
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