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Sask. school division says it's not letting students 'identify as furries'

A Saskatchewan school division is debunking false social media rumours that it is "allowing students to identify as furries."

In a one-page information sheet posted on Facebook on Wednesday, Good Spirit School Division said "there have been several myths and misconceptions" circulating about the division's policies.

The information sheet says there have been false claims stating the division is letting students identify as furries — a subculture where people dress up as animal characters.

The division goes on to say none of its dress codes allow students "to dress like furries."

The message to the community follows a recent move by the Saskatchewan government to require parental permission for students to use different names or pronouns at school, a move widely seen as aimed at transgender and non-binary youth.

The false claim of students "identifying" as furries mirrors hoaxes in other jurisdictions that have arisen amid debates over gender pronouns.

The division also says there are rumours that these nonexistent "furry" students are being permitted to use litter boxes — another common trope of the school furry hoax.

"The claim about allowing the use of litter boxes is completely false," the Good Spirit information sheet says.

The school division is also pushing back on claims that gender-neutral washrooms are meant to promote a "particular ideology."

"The introduction of gender washrooms is an initiative to create a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive environment," the division says.

"Gender-neutral bathrooms are single-stall facilities — meaning that only one person can use it at a time — much like the bathroom in our homes."

In its information sheet, titled "Myth vs. Reality", the division also says there are claims it is "actively promoting homosexuality."

"It is essential to understand that fostering an inclusive environment is not the same as 'promoting' a particular sexual orientation," the information sheet says.

A screen capture shows a Sept. 13, 2023 Facebook post by Good Spirit School Division. (Facebook/Good Spirit School Division)

"Education about different sexual orientations is part of a broader educational program ... aimed at reducing discrimination and fostering understanding and empathy among students, staff and families."

The division also says claims are circulating saying explicit materials are being promoted in classrooms and libraries.

"The Good Spirit School Division adheres to strict guidelines established by the Ministry of Education regarding the types of materials and curriculum content that can be promoted or made available."

Good Spirit is headquartered in Yorkton and operates 28 schools in east-central Saskatchewan Top Stories

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