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Gov. Bevin tries to clarify comments about teacher protests

17 April 2018
Gov. Bevin tries to clarify comments about teacher protests

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin apologised on Sunday for saying last week that a teacher walkout that shut schools in numerous state's districts led to children being sexually assaulted.

"To say with one voice that the comments the Gov. Bevin made on Friday are unbecoming of someone of his stature, and we demand that he issue a true apology", said Richard Becker, a union representative and candidate for the Kentucky House of Representatives.

In a four-minute video posted Sunday night, Bevin referenced comments he'd made last week following a contentious voting process meant to address the teachers' strike. It is not my intent to hurt anyone.but to help us all move forward.

"I hurt a lot of people".

In a almost 4-minute video, Bevin apologized to those who "couldn't fully appreciate" what he was communicating and said he was sorry for any confusion and hurt.

Now, politicians from both sides of the aisle have already spoken of Bevin's comments, and the Kentucky House has officially given him a condemnation.

Kentucky educators brought a strong presence to Frankfort as the legislature wrapped up its 2018 Regular Session Friday and Saturday in hopes of lawmakers overriding the governor's budget and tax bill vetoes.

But many of their members were on social media seeking to separate themselves from Bevin's comments.

Republican State Senator Whitney Westerfield on Twitter thanked Bevin for his apology and for taking responsibility for his words. "Heiner's skilled and selfless leadership of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet over these past two and a half years", said Gov. Matt Bevin.

He added that children who were out of school "were harmed - some physically, some sexually - some were introduced to drugs for the first time because they were vulnerable and left alone".

"The bottom line is that's one day". "I felt like we were finally getting some calm and he just kind of, you know, stirs the hornets' nest".

Telephone messages left with spokesmen for the House Democratic caucus, House Republicans and the Kentucky Education Association weren't immediately returned Sunday. "There is no rational comment I could make to that", Winkler said, the Courier-Journal reported.

Friday's teacher rally did result in the closure of at least 30 Kentucky school districts, including Erlanger-Elsemere Schools and Bellevue Independent Schools. West Virginia teachers walked out for nine days, forcing a 5 percent pay increase in March. Arizona's Gov. Doug Ducey recently promised a net 20 percent raise by 2020 after weeks of teacher protests and walkout threats. Teachers groups say these changes to the pension system could discourage people from pursuing a career in education.

"I don't want to be out of my classroom". So it's odd that he felt justified in vetoing a recent bill that would increase funding for schools. They wanted the vetoes to stand, forcing the governor to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a new budget.