A SCOTTISH secondary school has had to deny reports that some of its pupils were identifying as cats and defecating on the floor after school officials refused to provide a litterbox.
Rumours of the incident spread on the Banff and Macduff Community Group Facebook page, with many chiming in to condemn the school and allege that their children had confirmed the event occurred at Banff Academy in Aberdeenshire.
The post has been shared more than 300 times and garnered receptions of both hilarity and condemnation.
However, a spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council told The National: “There are no cats and no pupils identifying as cats at Banff Academy.”
So where did this all come from?
Last January, the superintendent of Midland Public Schools in Michigan was forced to address community members on Facebook after the rumour took hold locally.
Since then, however, it has spread to numerous US states and now to Scotland.
It has even been parroted by former QAnon supporter and Republican politician Marjorie Taylor Greene.
During a speech at a rally in Pennsylvania in September last year Greene repeated false assertions that schools in the state were lowering tables and putting out litter boxes for who students who identified as “furries” or cats.
She said: “If some student wants to pretend like a cat and use a litterbox after school, that’s their prerogative, whatever.
“But no, the school, the school resources and the other students and teachers should not have to be put through that because it’s a lie and we have to reject them.”
The rumour was also spread by popular US podcaster Joe Rogan.
The conspiracy appears to be linked to concerns around LGBT+ identities being affirmed in the education system.
Republican lawmakers in numerous states are attempting to pass bills that would require teachers to notify parents if their child is identifying as transgender at school.
An appeals court also recently upheld one Florida high school’s policy of forbidding transgender students from using the bathroom of their acquired gender.