The Brown and White has created a policy on artificial intelligence for reporters and editors to follow.

Editorial: Keep entertainment out of local government


In early January Republican Rep. Justin Humphrey of Oklahoma made national headlines when he proposed House Bill 3084. 

The bill called for students who “engage in anthropomorphic behavior — commonly referred to as furries,” to be excluded from all school activities and be picked up from school immediately. 

If the student’s parents aren’t available the bill says, “animal control services shall be contacted to remove the student.”

Following the proposal, Rep. Humphrey released a video recorded from the front seat of his car, wearing his trademark white cowboy hat.

“People are going to call me insane for running this bill — hell, I say they’re insane,” Humphrey says in the video. 

He continued to say that students pretending to be animals should be treated as such (have them neutered and sent to the pound) and he doesn’t want to see “some kid going to the bathroom in a litter box” in school.  

His reference to students using litter boxes comes from a myth that has been propagated by shameless politicians across the country since 2022

Humphrey’s stance is just one part of a larger movement to blur the lines between entertainment and politics and to incite controversy for the sake of media attention. This lazy and disingenuous brand of politics relies on scaring voters into ignoring policy and siding with the politicians who most closely align with their Twitter feeds.  

House Bill 3084 is just Humphreys’ latest half-witted, bogus attempt to stoke the fires of the culture wars and get his name back into headlines during an election year. 

He knows the bill won’t get passed. He knows he’s going to get butchered in the media. He doesn’t care. Humphrey only proposed the bill to scare voters into thinking the problem with their school system is the “furries and their litter boxes.”

And although Humphreys’ shock-value stances and misinformation are egregious, his worst offense is taking attention away from the real issues in Oklahoma’s public school landscape. 

The Oklahoma public school system consistently ranks in the bottom five states in the country. Just last year, Oklahoma’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against a state board after it attempted to create the nation’s first state-sponsored religious public charter school, a flagrant violation of both the Oklahoma and U.S. constitutions. 

We cannot let our school boards and local government become breeding grounds for controversy and pageantry while pressing issues in education go ignored. But we also can’t pretend that our own local government has not been subject to similar movements under different names.

In 2021, Moms for Liberty had representatives in 33 school boards across Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and were represented in 8 of the county’s 13 districts. 

These representatives disguised their anti-LGBTQ+, book-banning, extremist agenda as prioritizing parents’ rights in public education.

Central Bucks school district, a district less than an hour away from Lehigh’s campus, banned books, pride flags and transgender athletes; in addition to requiring teachers to tell parents if their child asked to be called by a different name or pronoun.  

No, the representatives from Moms for Liberty are not guilty of sharing inflammatory comments or threatening to call animal control on students — but they are guilty of using fear-mongering and their media presence to make their way onto school boards to target LGBTQ+ students and undermine the real issues in the public school system. 

Pennsylvania is one of the many states that’s currently grappling with a teacher shortage, and there is no room on any school board for officials who have book banning or furries at the top of their agendas.     

Central Bucks County voters have already recognized their mistake in trusting Moms for Liberty and said goodbye to Dana Hunter, former president of Central Bucks Board of School Directors. Still, that’s not to say that local government is immune to future threats of costly dramatics.

With the 2024 election looming large, it’s easy to feel like the major players in our political system are the ones that operate at a national level, but we must not lose sight of the dangerous landscape that local government threatens to become. 

Comment policy

Comments posted to The Brown and White website are reviewed by a moderator before being approved. Incendiary speech or harassing language, including comments targeted at individuals, may be deemed unacceptable and not published. Spam and other soliciting will also be declined.

The Brown and White also reserves the right to not publish entirely anonymous comments.

Leave A Reply