Bolduc’s False Statements Leads to Another Case of LitterBoxgate

Myah Rowland, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, October 25 at a campaign event in Claremont Don Bolduc, Republican candidate for NH senate, claimed that Pinkerton Academy, as well as schools in Dover and Claremont, have litter boxes in school bathrooms. 

“We have furries and fuzzies in classrooms,” said Bolduc. “They’re putting litter boxes, right? Litter boxes for that… I wish I was making it up.” 

This was, in fact, made up. There have not been any confirmed cases of schools providing litter boxes “for furries and fuzzies,” but there is one school district that stocks cat litter for a different reason. The Jefferson County school district in Colorado prepares “go buckets” for emergency use in the case of an active shooter lockdown. Each bucket contains a map of the school, flashlights, candy for diabetic students, first aid items, wet wipes, and cat litter. This is possibly because of the massacre at their Columbine High School in 1999. 

Colorado Republican candidate for governor Heidi Ganahl said that Colorado schools, specifically Jefferson County, were allowing students to disrupt class by hissing, barking, and dressing up as animals. Six Colorado school districts, including Jefferson County, disputed the claims.

Minnesota Republican candidate for governor Scott Jensen also repeated this hoax at a campaign event in September. Superintendent Paul Peterson of Mankato Area Public Schools called the situation “litterboxgate” in a statement debunking the false claims.

After Bolduc made these claims, Pinkerton Academy officials responded online.

“We want to assure our community that Mr. Bolduc’s statements are entirely untrue,” said Pinkerton Academy in a statement on Twitter addressing the hoax.  “We invite all political candidates to speak with members of our administration or visit our campus so they can inform themselves about our school before making claims about what occurs here.” 

Despite multiple school officials across the country disproving the claims, Bolduc doubled down in another interview sourced from Ryan Nobles of NBC News. 

“Well, you know [the schools] came out and said they didn’t do a lot of things… I’m not backing down… Just because they say it, they need to prove it,” said Bolduc.

Pinkerton Academy students already knew this was fake news, but what about future claims that are not as easy to debunk? For those, students can use the CRAAP test. 

“C” is for Currency. The information may be outdated or too recent for verification. “R” is for Relevancy. The source should stay on topic and directly answer a question or address an event with all of the necessary information. “A” is for Authority. Check the website. Is it a .com, .org, or .gov? “A” is for accuracy. Make sure the information is fact and not speculation. Is it biased or impartial? “P” is for purpose. Look for sources that aim to inform, not persuade, sell, or entertain.

Next time you’re skeptical about information in an article, book, or news station, remember the CRAAP test to sort the “crap” from fact. 

In addition to the CRAAP test, students can use the News Literacy Project to check if a specific piece of information was recently debunked or proven false.

The News Literacy Project is a nonprofit, unbiased, and educational organization whose job is to fact check viral articles and inform people about how to spot misinformation. The News Literacy Project is free to use and an excellent way to verify uncertain information. 

One good thing that came out of the situation is a lesson on not believing everything you hear. Whether it came from social media, a news reporter, or even a politician, you should always question your sources.