BHSN principal explains litter box hoax; Meanwhile, not a hoax, gender discussions are being politicized by politicians

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 22: Protesters gather to demonstrate against Indiana House Bill 1608 on March 22, 2023 at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. HB1608 would ban discussions about LGBTQ topics in schools, and chill discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3, according to the Indiana ACLU. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

A group of students at Bloomington High School North created a social experiment to show how viral misinformation spreads. They posted a fake announcement about a litter box in a classroom.

The social media experiment went viral, and some people believed it was real, then Bloomington High School North principal Matt Stark tried to clear up with an e-mail that was sent Monday.

Stark said the following:

“Today [Monday, March 20, 2023] there was a disruptive student social experiment involving a litter box and how the spread of misinformation can go viral.  The teacher-approved experiment was not authorized by the administration. 

Obviously, litter boxes are not something that are part of school for a variety of reasons, including public health.  Additionally, based upon already-existing misinformation on this subject, having a classroom project further embellish and amplify this erroneous story creates an impression for which we are not proud and for which we apologize. 

We appreciate any help you can give in dispelling rumors and calming the responses that are occurring on social media and beyond. 

Again, I am truly sorry that this social media post was created.  It does not represent who we are at North and what we strive to be.”

Last year an urban legend about litter boxes in classrooms at American schools became a Republican Party talking point. As many as 20 Republican politicians said schools are making accommodations for students who identify as cats.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/misinformation/urban-myth-litter-boxes-schools-became-gop-talking-point-rcna51439

Meanwhile, not a hoax, the Indiana State legislature has politicized gender issues along party lines, and several laws created by the GOP are on the agenda, with some close to being passed. The Indiana House of Representatives heard amendments to HB1608, which will criminalize human sexuality discussions in grades K-3 in public schools.

The Indiana ACLU is tracking several anti-trans bills:

https://www.aclu-in.org/en/our-work/legislation-advocacy#bill-tracker

https://www.clu-in.org/en/legislation/hb-1608-human-sexuality-instruction

The legislature advanced a bill Tuesday, which bans gender affirming healthcare for minors:

https://www.wndu.com/2023/03/22/indiana-legislature-advances-bill-banning-gender-affirming-care/

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