Kentucky governor apologizes after comments on teacher protests

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In a rare off-the-cuff interview with reporters in Frankfort on Friday evening, Gov. Matt Bevin (R-Kentucky) said teachers who called in sick to protest put children's lives in danger.

Hours after Governor Bevin insinuated children were being sexually assaulted due to the thousands of teachers protesting at the Capitol, parents and teachers say they are disgusted by his comments.

The teachers in Kentucky have also protested against changes to the state pension system, among the worst-funded in the nation, the Associated Press reported.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin released a video Sunday apologizing for his comments to reporters Friday suggesting that Kentucky children were sexually assaulted or poisoned because of teacher protests.


Bevin, whose veto of a two-year spending bill with a almost half-billion-dollar tax increase was overridden by fellow Republicans in the legislature, has recently sparred with teachers groups amid educator protests across the country fueled by claims of low pay and underfunded school systems.

'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'.

That same day, Bevin blasted the teachers for taking the day off to protest. "The Kentucky Senate Democratic Caucus condemns these types of demeaning and degrading statements directed at our teachers and public employees by the Governor".

House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, said in a statement that while Bevin claims there was a misunderstanding, "the people of Kentucky heard loud and clear what he said and today's video shows he still does not comprehend why so many were understandably upset".


"I don't want to be out of my classroom". But Bevin vetoed both the budget and the money in it, calling the bills "sloppy" and "non-transparent". But 57 Republicans eagerly voted to override, asserting their independence after a tumultuous year marred by a sexual harassment scandal.

You can stand here all day and act like you are all for (education) until it comes time to pay for it. "Well, that's a coward", said Republican Rep. Regina Huff, a middle school special education teacher. "We have to have this revenue to fund our schools".

Fifty-seven House Republicans, later joined by Senate Republicans, voted to override the governor's veto. "That's my responsibility, it truly is", he said.

Kentucky has become the latest flash point over the battle of school funding and higher pay that have led to recent teacher victories. The demonstrations were inspired by West Virginia teachers, whose nine-day walkout after many years without raises led to a 5 percent pay hike.


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