School hit by bizarre claims students that ‘identifying as cats’ refused to use toilets

Rumours began circulating that some pupils attending the 1,400-plus pupil school were wearing tails and walking up stairs on all fours.

Photos of cats have been placed on the heads of Derry Girls cast went viral

Reporter Hugh Jordan pictured in Derry this week at the Derry Girls mural

Sunday World

A topCatholic grammar school has said it was the victim of an elaborate hoax after bizarre claims that students identifying as catshadrefused to usetheschool toilets went viral.

All-female Thornhill College was the inspiration for the smash hit TV series Derry Girls.

It boasts a number of internationally known names among its past pupils, including Eurovision singing star Dana Rosemary Scallon, Hollywood actress Roma Downey and Girls Aloud superstar Nadine Coyle.

And Lisa McGee, creator of Derry Girls – a fictionalised account of life at Thornhill College – also attended the school.

However, this week the school hit the headlines for very different reasons after unfounded claims were made online.

Rumours began circulating that some pupils attending the 1,400-plus pupil school were wearing tails and walking up stairs on all fours.

A photo also began circulating in which the well-known Derry Girls actors, dressed in their school uniforms, had the heads of tabby cats.

It has been claimed on social media that when a demand for litter trays was ignored by the school authorities this week, poo was left on the floor of the school toilets.

Thornhill College

Pictures supposedly taken inside cubicles in Thornhill College clearly show human faeces on the floor. And in another snap, a similar amount of human waste had been smeared around a white toilet seat.

On Thursday evening, the photos were posted on the social media sites Facebook and Twitter, where the material was shared thousands of times – causing it to go viral.

The Sunday World managed to track down the individual responsible. He asked not to be named, but explained he only posted the material because he wanted to highlight how damaging this issue is for the community.

“It’s difficult enough running a big school like Thornhill without being distracted by something like this. The school needs the support of all of us.”

A woman told friends on Snapchat: “Am hearing that girls in Thornhill are s*****ing on the floor in the bathroom because they want to identify as cats and need litter trays.

“Who is allowing their wains to be that mad????? I’m sorry, but I couldn’t cope with that...the world has gone mad!” she said.

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And another angry parent took to Facebook to express her fury at what was going on in her former alma mater.

She said: “Thornhill students s****ing on the floor because they identify as ‘Furries’ and say they don’t have litter boxes, so they s**t on the floor. Jesus!”

When we contacted Thornhill College directly a spokesperson told us no one was available at that time to discuss the social media claims.

Reporter Hugh Jordan pictured in Derry this week at the Derry Girls mural

However, she claimed the college had been the victim of an elaborate hoax. On Friday afternoon, the Sunday World visited the school.

We loaded up a cat litter tray crammed with feline favourites including packets of Kitekat and Whiskas and we stood in the sunshine on the Culmore Road.

But with the exception of a number shouts of encouragement and a few ‘meows’ from passing motorists, no one approached us.

Mural of the Derry girl characters.

Ex-Mayor of Derry and retired MLA and SDLP chief whip at Stormont, Pat Ramsey, told us that, as far as he was aware, Thornhill College had done everything in its power to create an inclusive environment for all pupils attending the school.

He said: “Unfortunately, it’s just the modern world we live in, some people feel excluded. This issue went viral on Twitter on Thursday night, but where does it end?”

But on Friday morning, it became a hot topic for debate among staff and pupils alike.

One student told us: “Some pupils brought in tins of cat food and threw them around outside. But inside the school, almost all the toilet facilities were kept firmly locked.”

And she added: “The two toilets which were available for use by pupils were strictly monitored by members of staff who identified anyone wishing to use them.”

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