Teachers from across Kentucky gather outside the state Capitol to rally for increased funding for education on Friday, in Frankfort, Ky. Bryan Woolston/AP hide caption
toggle caption Bryan Woolston/AP
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is apologizing for saying a teachers’ strike left hundreds of thousands of children vulnerable to sexual assault and drug use.
On Friday, Bevin told reporters, “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.”
He also claimed to see people “hanging out” and “taking the day off” as teachers rallied at the state Capitol for increased education funding. “I’m offended that people so cavalierly, and so flippantly, disregarded what’s truly best for children,” Bevin said.
Bevin’s comments provoked anger and a rapid backlash from teachers’ groups and state politicians. On Saturday, Kentucky’s Republican-led House of Representatives approved resolutions condemning Bevin’s comments.
In a four-minute online video on Sunday, Bevin said his comments were misunderstood. “The words that people say can have unintended consequences,” he said. “Many people have been confused or hurt, or just misunderstand what I was trying to communicate.”