Kentucky Gov. Bevin apologizes for child sex abuse remarks

Share Bernie Woodall Apr 15th 2018 6:20PM April 15 (Reuters) – Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin apologized on Sunday for saying last week that a teacher walkout that shut schools in many of the states districts led to children being sexually assaulted.

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.

His comments came shortly after Republican lawmakers voted to override his vetoes of a two-year operating budget that included increased spending for public education with the help of an accompanying $480 million tax increase. Thousands of teachers gathered at the Capitol to ask lawmakers to override the vetoes. More than 30 school districts said they were forced to close because they didnt have enough teachers.

In a video statement on Sunday, Bevin said: “Im sorry for those of you, every single one of you, that has been hurt by things that Ive said.”

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has apologized to those offended by recent remarks insinuating that walkouts by teachers have left children unsupervised and vulnerable to sexual assault. He also thanked supporters “who understood” his comments on the protests that forced the closure of more than 30 school districts in his state.

Republican Governor Matt Bevin issued the four-minute apology video on Sunday

Kentuckys governor has apologized for his explosive comments suggesting that teachers striking during a budget battle had exposed unattended children to sexual abuse.

“I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didnt have any money to take care of them. Im offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded whats truly best for children.”  

Kentucky gov. apologizes for comments linking teacher protests to child abuse

Republican Governor Matt Bevin issued the four-minute apology video on Sunday, saying that many people misunderstood and did not fully appreciate his earlier statement.

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

Kentuckys Governor Just Apologized for Claiming Teacher Protest Led to Sexual Assaults

Im sorry for those of you, every single one of you, that has been hurt by things that Ive said, Bevin said.

“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 Friday in a video tweeted by WDRB-TV reporter Marcus Green. 

It came two days after his remarks in the midst of a Frankfort budget battle raised eyebrows around the nation.

At least 39 school districts in Kentucky had shut down on Friday as teachers traveled to the Capitol asking legislators to override Bevins veto of state budget and tax reform bills. 

Bevin had come under scrutiny after he told a reporter children left at home could be susceptible to sexual assault or even be poisoned.

Bevin apologized on Sunday for the controversial remarks he made on Friday as teachers protesting budget cuts filled the Capitol building in Frankfort (pictured)

Video: House resolution condemn Bevins comments

That same day, Bevin blasted the teachers for taking the day off to protest.

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 to NBC5 outside the state Capitol on Friday.

I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were left alone because a single parent didnt have any money to take care of them.

UPDATED: Bevin apologizes for saying children assaulted as result of Fridays rally

The governor said this caused hundreds of thousands of children to be left alone at home and vulnerable.

He added: Children were harmed — some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time.

Kentucky governor apologizes for sexual abuse remarks

Bevin also told reporters he was offended by the fact that people so cavalierly, and so flippantly, disregarded whats truly best for children. 

He said of the teachers protesting that he saw a lot of people hanging out, shoes-off, smoking, leaving trash around, taking the day off.

The GOP-led Kentucky House later approved a pair of resolutions condemning Bevins comments. The extraordinary rebuke came on the final day of the legislative session Saturday.

Teachers from across Kentucky gathered in the state Capitol to rally for increased funding for education on Friday. The governor has apologized for his remarks about the protests

In his apology on Sunday, Bevin apologized several times and said that his remarks had been misunderstood. 

Its my responsibility to represent you, not only when Im speaking to you, but when Im speaking on your behalf in ways that are clear, that are understood, that dont hurt people and dont confuse people, he said.

And so the extent that I do that well, great. And to the times when I dont do it well, thats on me.

Robin Cooper, an occupational therapist in Fayette County, the states second-largest public school district, was among the thousands of educators protesting at the Capitol in recent weeks. 

Governor signs line of duty death benefits bill into law

And after watching the video Sunday, she said, Seriously? Thats not much of an apology.

Gov. Bevin: “I apologize” to those hurt by comments

I think hes gotten so much heat that he had to say something, Cooper said. But it still wasnt an apology. It was still him defending his words. Everyone heard his words. I dont know how we can misunderstand his intent. So that just kind of makes me angry.

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