Colorado’s school board is under fire for lying about “furries” present in schools and making parents complain about the disruptive behavior.
The board strongly denied rumors that Jefferson County schools were accommodating students in animal costumes and providing litter boxes.
The statement stated that there are no litter bins in the buildings and students are prohibited from coming to school dressed up in costumes. “There are no furries, and students cannot identify themselves as such during school hours.”
Although there was no evidence to support the claim that litter boxes were in schools, emails obtained from administrators by KCNC-TV later confirmed the existence of “furries”. According to the report, at least two dozen parents contacted administrators regarding students wearing costumes and called them “furries”.
Emails show that the false statement was made in order to promote a political agenda.
Tara Pena, chief of family school and community partnership, emailed asking if it would help to link the furries complaints to “a larger national political platform to further marginalize transgender students and lgbtq+ people.”
Darlene Edwards, a parent to one student, spoke out to KCNC. She said that the behavior of the “furry students” was disrupting her son’s education, who is autistic. She said that she was a Democrat, and was disappointed by the fact that officials tried to politicize this issue instead of solving it.
Edwards stated, “I have a niece who is lesbian.” She specifically said, “This isn’t an LGBTQ group.” “It is frustrating that it became political instead of what’s best for kids at school.”
She expressed frustration, saying: “Why aren’t you trying to cover up it rather than dealing with it at its level?”
At least one member of the school board agreed with this sentiment.
Susan Miller said, “We can see that our parents raised issues in emails and I don’t think we should be saying that our parents lie.”
Miller stated that enrollment had fallen by 30,000 students in the district and that many students were reading and matching at grades below theirs. Miller stated that lying to parents about the matter to school administrators wasn’t going to help them improve schools.
She added, “I hope we all learn from it and we can address inconsistency or communication breakdown in any way shape, or form to ensure that our parents believe that we respond to their letters.”
KCNC asked Kimberly Eloe (executive director of communications at JeffCo Schools) to explain why her first statement regarding the issue accused parents of lying. Her response was not forthcoming.
According to one school in Melbourne, Australia a student could identify himself as a cat and nonverbally respond in class, provided it was not disruptive to other students.
More information about how the school board is smearing parents can be found here: