Governor: If Teachers Protest Budget Cuts, Children Will Be Assaulted

“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.”



Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is facing calls to resign after he accused protesting teachers of not just jeopardizing the safety of schoolchildren, but effectively making many of them victims of physical and sexual assault by closing schools.

In January 2017, Bevin proposed an austere budget that reduced expenses through deep cuts to public schooling and elimination of 70 small programs from the Kentucky Commission on Women to the University Press of Kentucky.

These cuts alone should have brought into question Bevin’s commitment to children’s welfare since his proposal would severely hinder the access children had to education as well as the quality of education they would receive.

Frustratingly aloof to the hypocrisy of his words, Bevin went on a tirade against teachers who were concerned about their students’ futures and had called for a strike and closed schools for a day.

“I’m offended by the fact that people so cavalierly, and so flippantly, disregarded what’s truly best for children,” the Republican governor said at an impromptu news conference.

Bevin then went on to say that parents who are unable to afford daycare services inevitably left their children at home. It is thus undeniable that many of them would have gotten hurt or poisoned when they were left home alone, according to the governor's thinking.

“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 any money to take care of them.”

The Republican went on to say that some Kentuckians knew that children would be alone and vulnerable because of the strike and took advantage of that.

Bevin’s accusations were too undignified to warrant a response. Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim still did demolish his logic by saying that with this line of reasoning, schools should never close. He also said that parents had been informed of the closure, and supported teachers in their actions.

“The bottom line is that’s one day. He was cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from kids that would impact every day, and that’s what we were in Frankfort to stop. We were there with the overwhelming support and encouragement of our parents who know that we care about every student in our classes,” he said.

The abhorred budget bill presented by Bevin has thankfully been overridden by fellow Republicans.

Banner/Thumbnail : Reuters, John Sommers II

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