Politics

GOP Candidate Who Repeated Cat Litter Myth Wins Oklahoma School Chief Post In Landslide

Ryan Walters, the Republican faculty superintendent candidate in Oklahoma who repeated an city legend about schoolchildren figuring out as cats and demanding to make use of kitty litter, received his race in a landslide.

Walters, a former state Teacher of the Year finalist from the japanese Oklahoma city of McAlester, beat Democrat Jena Nelson, who was the 2020 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, 57% to 43%.

In an interview with an Oklahoma City television station Wednesday, Walters stated his precedence could be to audit the state Education Department.

“There’s several items here that I have great concerns with. We have to make sure that our money is being used in the classroom, that it’s getting to our teachers, not being spent on administrative bloat,” he stated. “We’ve got to make sure there’s no indoctrination in what we’re doing, our programs, the way our money is being spent.”

Only a couple of days earlier than Tuesday’s election, an Oklahoma blog posted a video of Walters describing a “legitimate faculty meeting” throughout which he claimed faculty employees and college debated whether or not to offer cat litter for college students who recognized as cats.

During the lead-up to this fall’s elections, many Republican candidates referenced the concept college students are figuring out as cats and demanding to make use of litter bins as a substitute of restrooms, nevertheless it was at all times associated as a secondhand story with no proof.

Various information shops, together with NBC, Reuters, The Associated Press and USA Today have debunked the declare that that is taking place at faculties. It’s unclear how this delusion began, however there may be hypothesis that it may have arisen from a Colorado school saying it included cat litter in its emergency kits.

It was unclear from Walters’ feedback within the video whether or not he was claiming to have direct data of such a meeting or if a former colleague he stated he had talked to had instructed him about it. He didn’t point out a selected faculty or district.

“We have not.”

– Supt. Robert Steeber on whether or not McAlester had mentioned cat litter use by college students

When requested if McAlester Public Schools, Walters’ former faculty district, had held such a meeting, Supt. Robert Steeber instructed HuffPost, “We have not.

The 18,000-member Oklahoma Education Association, the state’s largest academics union, referred to as Walters’ election “a devastating result.”

“There are real issues facing public education in our state. An educator shortage crisis, oversized classrooms, poverty, lack of counselors and mental health support, and access to resources all require prioritization over national partisan culture wars and voucher schemes that siphon money from public schools,” the group stated.

“It is our hope that the newest representatives will remember every day that they serve all Oklahomans, not just some.”

Tuesday was a superb night time for the Oklahoma GOP, with many citizens apparently voting straight celebration line. Republicans — together with Gov. Kevin Stitt, who received by a surprisingly huge margin over the present state faculty superintendent, Joy Hofmeister — had been victorious in the entire high state elected places of work.

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