In a dramatic comment that’s going viral on social media already, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said children across the state suffered after several school districts closed either to allow teachers to attend Friday’s protests over pension reform and the state budget, or because enough teachers had called in absences to trigger closures.
“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,” said Bevin in front of a group of reporters. “I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them,” Bevin said. “I’m offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded what’s truly best for children.
Meanwhile, Mary Nishimuta, executive director of the Kentucky Democratic Party, issued a response to Bevin’s statement, saying “It’s entirely inappropriate and perverse that the man sitting in the governorship would criticize Kentuckians who stood up today for teachers, public employees and our public education by insinuating that their presence in Frankfort today caused a child to be sexually assaulted. His insults of teachers over the last year have been beneath the decorum of any respectable elected official. This rhetoric has crossed a line. As a mother, suggesting children were abused as a prop for his political rhetoric is disturbing and absurdly in poor taste.”
Teachers say they will return to Frankfort Saturday for the final day of the general assembly.