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16 April 2018, 10:23 | Opal Carroll
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin: Comments linking sexual assault with teacher protests were misunderstood
Bevin took to social media after nationwide backlash for saying children were being sexually abused while being left alone as teachers rallied in Frankfort to urge lawmakers to override his vetoes of an operating budget.
"It is my responsibility to represent you, not only when I'm speaking to you but also when I'm speaking on your behalf".
"Clearly a tremendous amount of people did not fully appreciate what it was that I was communicating and I hurt a lot of people - that's my responsibility and I apologize for those who had been hurt by the things that were said was not my intent whatsoever". However, officials from both Erlanger-Elsemere and Bellevue said Bevin's proposed education cuts - not the one-day absence of teachers - would "severely reduce" services that provide forms of childcare before and after school, including kindergarten, preschool and tutoring.
"I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said".
Teachers from across Kentucky gathered in the state Capitol to rally for increased funding for education on Friday. "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".
Protesters succeeded in their efforts and legislators overturned Bevin's budget and tax vetoes on the final day of the 2018 legislative session.
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In an interview with a WDRB-TV television reporter on Friday, the Republican governor said he could guarantee that somewhere in Kentucky a child was sexually assaulted after being left home with no supervision because of the walkout. "I'm offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded what's truly best for children".
Attorney General Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, also released a statement berating the governor's comments.
"This is the example that we want to send to our children, really?"
Bevin said he has several family members who are public school teachers and said the issue is "near and dear" to him.
Democrats quickly condemned Bevin's comments. "It was not my intent whatsoever", the governor said.
"His insults of teachers over the past year have been beneath the decorum of any respectable elected official", Nishimuta wrote in a statement. "As a mother, suggesting children were abused as a prop for his political rhetoric is disturbing and absurdly in poor taste".
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