West Monmouth School in Pontypool, South Wales recently sent a letter home to parents informing them that the school will not be providing litter trays for any student who wishes to identify as a cat. The school, which has a prestigious list of alumni including Hollywood star Sir Anthony Hopkins and international rugby players, felt the need to address the issue of litter trays alongside toilets. The letter was sent in response to rumors that the school would be providing cat litter trays for students who identify as “furries” or pets. However, the school clarified that there will be no provision for any student who identifies as an animal of any kind. The local council also expressed their disapproval of providing special treatment for students who identify as animals. Deputy headteacher Claire Hughes wrote the letter to address the concerns and queries raised within the community regarding the use of litter trays at the school. The school’s decision has garnered attention and sparked discussions about identity and inclusivity.The school has made it clear that they have no plans to provide litter trays for students who identify as animals. While the school prides itself on being inclusive and welcoming, they do not accommodate students who identify as animals. This behavior is not acceptable at the school, and no provisions, such as litter trays, are in place to support it.
This decision comes after Katharine Birbalsingh, known as “Britain’s toughest headteacher,” raised concerns about children identifying as cats and wearing tails and ears in class. The government also investigated Rye College in East Sussex after a 13-year-old girl was criticized by her teacher for rejecting a classmate’s request to be identified as a cat.
However, the school denied allowing students to identify as animals and stated that no children enrolled there identify as cats or any other animals. Following an intervention by equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, Ofsted conducted an inspection of Rye College to address alleged safeguarding issues and concerns about political impartiality in classrooms.
An Ofsted spokesman clarified that they were not investigating specific incidents but treated the minister’s letter as a complaint and followed up with the school and relevant agencies.
In a separate incident, West Monmouth School headteacher Emma Jordan spoke out against “unsubstantiated nonsense rumors.” The school sent a letter to parents reassuring them that they do not support or accommodate students identifying as animals. Jordan emphasized the importance of focusing on education and not getting distracted by such rumors.Headteacher Emma Jordan of West Monmouth School criticized the spread of “unsubstantiated nonsense rumors.” The Aquinas Church of England Trust, which oversees Rye College, expressed their support for the inspection conducted by Ofsted. They also mentioned their anticipation for the government’s forthcoming guidance on gender identity in schools. West Monmouth School, established in 1895, has notable alumni such as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Graham Price, and Mako Vunipola. Torfaen Council confirmed the authenticity of a letter sent out to address the spread of rumors and misinformation online. Jason O’Brien, Strategic Director for Children and Family Services at the council, expressed disappointment that schools are being diverted from their focus on pupil attainment and wellbeing due to these damaging rumors. The rumor in question is reminiscent of a hoax that circulated in North America, claiming that certain schools provide litter boxes for students who identify as cats or furries. Emma Jordan, the headteacher of West Monmouth School, dismissed these rumors as unsubstantiated nonsense that have persisted due to parents spreading falsehoods.
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