Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, asked Friday about teachers leaving the classrooms to attend a protest rally at the Capitol to protest the state budget, told reporters that children had been sexually assaulted or ingested poison Friday somewhere in Kentucky because teachers were too busy protesting in Frankfurt.
“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them,” Bevin said in an impromptu press conference just hours after his vetoes of the budget and tax reform bills were overridden. “I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were left alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them.”
At least 39 school districts were out of session to allow education officials and other supporters to attend the protest.
Bevin said “hundreds of thousands of children” were left alone across Kentucky as a result.
“Children were harmed – some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time – because they were vulnerable and left alone,” Bevin continued.
Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler said she was “appalled” by the remark.
“There is no rational comment I could make to that,” Winkler said.
Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim said that using Bevin’s logic, schools should never close.
“The fact is, every school district did its level best to let parents know school was going to be closed with as much notice as possible,” McKim said. “The bottom line is that’s one day. He was cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from kids that would impact every day and that’s what we were in Frankfort to stop. We were there with the overwhelming support and encouragement of our parents who know that we care about every student in our classes.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on the teacher rallies today. “I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.” pic.twitter.com/Q4PpzFsTt2
— Marcus Green (@MarcusGreenWDRB) April 13, 2018