LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska state lawmaker has apologized after he publicly cited a persistent but debunked rumor alleging that schools are placing litter boxes in school bathrooms to accommodate children who self-identify as cats.
Sen. Bruce Bostelman, a conservative Republican, repeated the false claim during a public, televised debate on a bill intended to help school children who have behavioral problems.
His comments quickly went viral, with KMTV reporter Jon Kipper's Twitter video garnering more than 700,000 views as of Tuesday afternoon and drew an onslaught of online criticism and ridicule.
A floor speech from Nebraska State Senator Bruce Bostelman that "is about something called furries."
Just gonna leave this here: pic.twitter.com/drn6jUgCXf
— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) March 28, 2022
Hours after his remarks, Bostelman backtracked and acknowledged that the story wasn't true.
Bostelman said he checked with state Democrat Sen. Lynne Walz, who leads the Legislature’s Education Committee, about the claims and confirmed no such incidents, the NBC News reported.
The AP reported that the rumor has been mentioned frequently in the private Facebook group, “Protect Nebraska Children."
Last month, a school superintendent in Iowa had to respond after the rumor was spread about their school, saying it was “simply and emphatically not true,” ABC News affiliate KCRG reported.