DENVER (KDVR) — Republican candidate for governor Heidi Ganahl is reiterating a claim that students in Colorado schools are self-identifying as animals. It’s an assertion that has been disputed by a local district, and in fact-checks from across the country.
Ganahl took criticism for comments she made during a discussion about Colorado schools on a conservative talk radio show.
“Not many people know that we have furries in Colorado schools…kids identifying as cats,” Ganahl said on the “Jimmy Sengenberger Show” on 710 KNUS last Saturday. “It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it’s happening all over Colorado and schools are tolerating it. It’s insane.”
Ganahl’s comments reference the largely debunked claim that has been made in school districts across the U.S. this year. She defended her comments in an interview airing Sunday on the Channel 2 political program “Colorado Point of View.”
“We’ve got to focus on the basic blocking and tackling of teaching our kids how to read, write and do math and not put up with this nonsense in the classroom,” Ganahl said. “I just heard from over 100 parents identifying 30 different schools that this is happening. Jefferson County, there’s a lot of this going on.”
FOX31 asked Jeffco Public Schools for comment, and a spokesperson said “there is absolutely no truth to this claim.”
“There are no litter boxes in our buildings and students are not allowed to come to school in costume. There are no furries or students identifying as such during the school day,” a statement from the district said.
The claim that students identify as furries has been spreading across the country for several months. A fact check by Reuters in July determined there was “no evidence that U.S. schoolchildren are self-identifying as animals and disrupting classrooms.”
In April, The Associated Press did a fact check against a claim from Wisconsin that one district there had a “furry protocol.” The AP found this claim to be “completely false.”
Ganahl’s exclusive one-on-one interview on “Colorado Point of View” follows a fiery debate in Pueblo with Gov. Jared Polis.
A recent FOX31/Channel2/Emerson College/The Hill poll found that Polis holds a 17-point lead over Ganahl in their race.
You can watch the entire interview with Heidi Ganahl this Sunday morning on “Colorado Point of View” at 7:30 a.m. on Colorado’s Very Own Channel 2.