In a rambling video posted to YouTube and Twitter, Kentucky’s Republican Governor Matt Bevin was forced to apologize for his outrageous comments yesterday that warned striking teachers in his state that they were harming students by forcing them to stay home where they could be sexually assaulted or poisoned.
Teachers in Kentucky walked out on Friday to pressure the Kentucky House of Representatives to overturn Governor Bevin’s vetoes of a tax increase and two year spending plan that would have protected teacher pensions and funded education.
The organized opposition by dedicated educators triggered a meltdown by the Governor on Friday when he told a group of reporters that:
“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 said. “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 enough money to take care of them.”
Bevin’s comments outraged both parents and teachers alike with his suggestion that their fight for a properly funded educational system and living wages and pensions was a selfish move rather than a fight for the educational rights of children in the state.
The teachers’ one day absence from their classrooms in at least 30 Kentucky school districts may have caused some temporary inconveniences for parents, but the education cuts that Bevin’s veto would result in would “severely reduce” services that provide childcare before and after school, including kindergarten, preschool and tutoring according to school officials.
Bevin’s scare tactics backfired in a major way for him. Not only did the Kentucky House of Representatives vote to override his veto mere hours after he made his accusations against the teachers, but the wave of condemnation towards his reprehensible tactics forced his video apology today (video below).
“I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said,” Bevin said in his statement. “That was not my intent whatsoever.”
“Clearly a tremendous number of people did not fully appreciate what it was that I was communicating or what it was that I was trying to say.”
“Many people have been confused or hurt or just misunderstand what it was that I was trying to communicate,” Bevin said.
While Bevin is eating crow for his insensitive comments, his apology seems to place more responsibility on people’s interpretation of his words than on himself for saying them to begin with. He tries to convince his audience that with teachers in his own family, he is sympathetic to the plight of educators, but there is no mistaking the difference between his words and his actions when it comes to the funding of his state’s schools.
Now that his veto has been overturned, you can judge the sincerity of Governor Bevin’s apology for yourself in the video below.
It is my responsibility to represent you, not only when I’m speaking to you but also when I’m speaking on your behalf. It is not my intent to hurt anyone…but to help us all move forward. We need each other. We’re in this together. #WeAreKY https://t.co/2MzQaoJGNk
— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) April 15, 2018
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