Kentucky Governor Blames Teachers' Strike For Leaving Kids Vulnerable To Harm

by Julie Scagell
Image via Getty/Scott Olson/Bill Pugliano

Governor Matt Bevin says because they had the day off, kids were probably ‘sexually assaulted’ and ‘tried drugs’

Under the file of, “Yep, you heard that right,” Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin claims that while teachers and school officials were busy protesting the state’s Capitol on Friday for increases in public education, kids were being sexually assaulted and poisoned because school was closed.

In Kentucky, 30 schools closed on Friday so teachers could travel to the state’s capital, Frankfurt, to show opposition for a bill Bevin signed earlier in the week. The bill, which the Kentucky Education Association is vehemently against, says, among other things, “that new hires will have to enter a cash-balance plan, as opposed to a traditional pension, and teachers will be limited in the number of new sick days they can put toward their retirement,” CNN reported.

And while they were busy fighting for the future of public education, Bevin decided to blame them for a whole host of shit that could happen.

“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. “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. I’m offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded what’s truly best for children.”

Whoa. That’s a whole lot to unpack. Lucky for us, the good people of Twitter have us covered:

“As surely as we’re having this conversation, children were harmed – some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time because they were vulnerable and left alone. It’s offensive, really. If you want to write a story, that’s the kind of thing you should talk about,” he continued.

Has this man lost his damn mind? How about giving our kids and our teachers a little more credit? They are showing their students that sometimes you need to stand up and fight for what you believe in — which is the future of public education and all the underpaid educators coming to school every single day to teach our children.

Kentucky and Arizona teachers protested just this week, demanding better pay and working conditions, coming on the heels of West Virginia where, a week of closed classrooms led to a 5 percent pay raise for all state employees, NPR reported.

Representatives in his office haven’t commented publicly on his comments.