Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin apologized Sunday for his comments criticizing a recent teacher protest and saying children might have been “sexually assaulted” because schools were closed.
Teachers marched on the Capitol Friday, calling on the state legislature to override Bevin’s veto of an operating budget that included a teacher pay raise. Roughly 30 school districts were shut down because of the protest.
Lawmakers voted to override Bevin’s veto later that day. Bevin was critical of the protests and said the walkout left children vulnerable to abuse and drug use.
“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted [who] 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,” Bevin added.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on the teacher rallies today. “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.” pic.twitter.com/Q4PpzFsTt2
— Marcus Green (@MarcusGreenWDRB) April 13, 2018
Bevin apologized for his comments Sunday in a video posted on his Facebook page.
“It’s my responsibility to represent you; not only when I’m speaking to you, but when I’m speaking on your behalf in ways that are clear, that are understood, that don’t hurt people and don’t confuse people,” Bevin said. “And so the extent that I do that well, great. And to the times when I don’t do it well, that’s on me. I’m sorry for those of you, every single one of you, that has been hurt by things that I’ve said.”