Pembroke – There are no litter boxes in any schools in Renfrew County served by either the Renfrew County District School Board or Renfrew County Catholic District School Board.

A joint statement from the two boards said there was misinformation circulating in school communities and online about the presence of litter boxes in schools.

“Please know that the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB) and the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board (RCCDSB) do not have, and have never had, litter boxes in any of our elementary or secondary sites.

“Further in the provincially-mandated collection of demographic data, questions of identity are specific to gender,” the release continued. “We do not collect any data regarding animal identity, and we do not recognize such identities.

“The RCDSB and the RCCDSB recognizes, values, accepts and nurtures all students and staff regardless of their gender identity or expression,” the release concluded.

The statement was issued on Tuesday a few weeks after a letter was sent to local media, including the Eganville Leader, expressing concern about “seven children in the Renfrew public school system identify as animals. Details are hard to find, but it has been confirmed that one student identifies as a frog in one public school and another public school has a litter box in the washroom for a student who identifies as a cat.”

Claims about litter boxes in schools have circulated in many school districts in North America. The issue for many has been tied to backlash against gender identification in schools.