No, several large Colorado school districts said Tuesday, they are not having issues with students identifying as cats or other animals, as Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl has repeatedly claimed is happening in schools across the state.
Ganahl, a University of Colorado regent running to unseat Gov. Jared Polis next month, said in a radio interview last week that “schools are tolerating” students “identifying as cats.” She then doubled down on that position in subsequent interviews over the past several days: She told Fox31 that she’d received more than 100 messages from parents “across Colorado” talking about the issue in their school.
Ganahl reiterated her concern in a statement to the Denver Post on Tuesday, casting students dressing up like cats as a distraction when they should be learning.
“As a candidate for governor, but more than anything as a parent, my concern is that distractions like children dressing up in costumes at school detract from the reality that 60% of our kids are not performing at grade level,” she said. “It’s tragic that we are failing our children. We need to make them our priority.”
Officials for Denver Public Schools, Cherry Creek Schools, Aurora Public Schools and Colorado Springs School District 11 all denied having any issues with students dressing up as cats or other animals. Two statewide organizations, representing teachers and administrators, criticized Ganahl’s claims and said they had never been made aware of such issues, either.