A school sent a letter home to parents to warn it is refusing to provide litter trays for any pupil ‘who might want to identify as a cat.’
The 1,000-pupil high school – boasting a string of famous alumni including Hollywood star Sir Anthony Hopkins and international rugby players – wrote to parents ‘regarding the use of litter trays’ alongside toilets.
West Monmouth School in Pontypool, South Wales was forced to contact mums and dads to deny claims that cat litter trays are set to be provided for ‘furries’ – pupils identifying as pets.
Baffled parents received the letter to say there would be no provision for ‘pupils who might identify as an animal of any kind.’
Council chiefs said that special treatment for any pupil who identifies as ‘an animal of any kind’ was ‘not acceptable’.
West Monmouth School in Pontypool, South Wales sent a letter home to parents to warn it is refusing to provide litter trays for any pupil identifying as a CAT
The school was forced to contact mums and dads to deny claims that cat litter trays are set to be provided for ‘furries’ – pupils identifying as pets
Deputy headteacher of West Monmouth School, Claire Hughes wrote: ‘It has come to our attention that there appears to be a number of queries and concerns raised within the community regarding the use of litter trays at West Monmouth School.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that we do not and will not be planning on providing any litter trays at the school.
‘Whilst we are an inclusive and welcoming school, we do not make any provision for any pupils who might identify as an animal of any kind.
‘This kind of behaviour is not acceptable at school and as such, no provision is in place at school, such as litter trays.’
This comes after ‘Britain’s toughest headteacher’ Katharine Birbalsingh warned in June that children identifying as cats are wearing ‘tails and ears’ in class.
The Government also investigated Rye College in East Sussex where a 13-year-old girl was branded ‘despicable’ by her teacher for rejecting her fellow pupil’s request to be identified as a cat.
But the school said in June denied it allows students to identify as animals, saying that ‘no children’ enrolled there ‘identify as a cat or any other animal’.
Ofsted later carried out an inspection of Rye College after an intervention by equalities minister Kemi Badenoch.
Mrs Badenoch urged Ofsted to take action over alleged ‘safeguarding issues’ and claimed the teacher, who told two 13-year-old girls there are ‘lots of genders’, breached the legal requirement for political impartiality in classrooms.
An Ofsted spokesman stressed at the time it was not investigating ‘specific incidents’, adding: ‘We considered the letter from the minister as a complaint, alongside others, and followed up with the school and other relevant agencies.’
A spokesman for Aquinas Church of England Trust, which runs Rye College, said of the inspection: ‘Ofsted has now visited the school and we of course fully supported and engaged with the process.
‘More widely, we understand that draft guidance on gender identity in schools is expected to be issued by the Government soon and we would of course welcome what we hope will be clear and helpful guidance.’
West Monmouth School, which opened in 1895, counts Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins – known as an ardent cat-lover – among its alumni along with legendary Welsh rugby player Graham Price and England rugby star Mako Vunipola.
West Monmouth School, which opened in 1895, counts Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins (left) – known as an ardent cat-lover among its alumni
Torfaen Council confirmed the letter was genuine and was sent out after ‘rumours and misinformation’ were spreading online.
Jason O’Brien, Strategic Director for Children and Family Services at the council, said: ‘Torfaen Council is focused on pupil attainment and wellbeing.
‘It’s disappointing when schools are distracted from these priorities by having to quash damaging rumours and misinformation circulating on social media.’
The rumour comes after a litter boxes in schools hoax spread across North America, alleging that certain schools provide litter boxes in bathrooms for students who ‘identify as cats’ or ‘furries.’
West Monmouth School headteacher Emma Jordan said: ‘We sent a letter out in response to some completely unsubstantiated nonsense rumours which have unfortunately persisted within our community.
‘There’s rumours in the community about pupils who identify as animals and us providing litter trays for toilets for example, as you have seen in the letter.
‘They are nonsense rumours which we have ignored for the best part of six months, but unfortunately, they have persisted because some parents feel the need to spread falsehoods.’