“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,” Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) said to a reporter Friday. He claimed “hundreds of thousands” of children were left home alone as the result of statewide teacher walkouts, and that predators would have used this knowledge to attack unattended children.
He also “guaranteed” that a child ingested poison because their teachers were attending a protest and the child’s parent wouldn’t have enough money to take care of them. Bevin, who offered no evidence for his claims, said he was offended that caretakers would so “cavalierly… skip work” to attend the protest.
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
He criticized protestors for “hanging out,” “taking the day off,” smoking, and for removing their shoes (the high temperature Friday in Frankfurt was 82 degrees).
Kentucky teachers swarmed the capital on Friday to tell lawmakers they would be voting them out in response to low teacher pay, under-funded education, and unjust changes to educators’ pensions. Kentucky school districts overall serve 685,167 students, and 36 of those districts closed for protests.
Educators in that state are among a wave of education protests across the country recently: Arizona, Oklahoma, and West Virginia have all recently seen walkouts, school closures, and large public demonstrations calling for higher teacher pay and better funding for schools.