Colorado State Board of Education candidate Peggy Propst is the latest Republican to sound the alarm over Colorado students she claims are dressing as “furries” and want “litter boxes in the bathroom.”
“We have furries in our classrooms, kids that come to school and believe that they want to be treated as a dog or a cat and have litter boxes in the bathroom,” Propst, A Republican, told Winn Tuscon, a right-wing radio show in Arizona Oct. 28. “And this is a real thing.”
Propst cited, “in particular,” parents from one unnamed school in Jefferson County who are demanding a litter box for their daughter.
The Jefferson County School District has denied that students are identifying as furries during the school day. And the allegations are seen by advocates as veiled attacks on LGBTQ students, particularly transgender students.
Nonetheless, the alleged presence of furries and alleged demands for litter boxes in Colorado schools proves to Propst that “parents have got to put their foot down” and demand tax dollars in the form of so-called “vouchers” to remove their students from the public schools — a move that opponents argue would undermine public schools.
Some classrooms in Jefferson County schools have had cat litter since 2017, in case students are locked in a classroom during a shooting. Jefferson County is the district that includes Columbine High School, where a massacre occurred in 1999.
Colorado gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl has been widely criticized for her steadfast — but unsubstantiated — belief, first reported by the Colorado Times Recorder, that Colorado “kids identifying as cats. It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it’s happening all over Colorado and schools are tolerating it.”
Propst, who previously served on the state Board of Education from 2009 – 2011, also said on air that she’s against the teaching of sex education in Colorado schools, explaining she’s for “letting parents decide when or where sex ed is taught.”
“But it’s certainly not the purview to be taught or encouraged in schools,” said Propst, referring to sex education.
Academic research shows that comprehensive sex education programs help prevent intimate partner violence and help young people develop healthy relationships, as well as reducing teen sexual activity adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
On the Arizona radio show, as she’s suggested elsewhere, Propst said she wants Colorado to pass the same controversial voucher law that was recently adopted in Arizona.
Asked by radio host Kathleen Winn if she would like to “steal” Arizona’s law and “apply it if you can,” Propst replied: “Absolutely, in a New York minute. And we are watching the Arizona model very, very closely. Of course, that’s going to take a change in the state of Colorado.”
Under the most expansive voucher law in the U.S., passed this year, over one million Arizona parents can collect about $7,000 in tax money to send their child to a private or religious school.
Initial data shows wealthy families with kids already in private schools are the first to apply for the vouchers in Arizona.