Kentucky governor under fire for comments on teachers

Kentucky governor under fire for comments on teachers

More than 30 school districts closed Friday and Bevin's comments came not long after lawmakers voted to override his vetoes of an operating budget that included more spending on public education and an accompanying tax increase.

"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", the Republican governor told reporters Friday afternoon, according to CNN affiliate WDRB. "I'm offended that people so cavalierly, and so flippantly, disregarded what's truly best for children", Bevin said.

Teachers in Kentucky, together with in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, have held Walk Outs or protests demanding more funds for education, for example educators' pensions and wages.

He also claimed to see people "hanging out" and "taking the day off" as teachers rallied at the state Capitol for increased education funding.

The legislator heeded the protests and overrode the veto. It angered Bevin's fellow Republicans in the General Assembly who seem to spend as much time defending themselves from association with Bevin's criticism of teachers as they do legislating.

Bevin has not said if he will seek a second term.

His office could not be reached for comment.

Democrats quickly condemned Bevin's comments. "They think we are going to get exhausted and go home", she said. I don't know how we can misunderstand his intent.

Bevin's comments on Friday had led House lawmakers from both parties to pass resolutions condemning the remarks. But he scoffed at the notion of Republican rule being in jeopardy. "Sometimes when I am doing that I do it effectively, sometimes not so much and I think this case is such an example of the latter".

Sen. Brandon Smith, a Republican from Hazard, said the extra infusion of money would have "a tremendous impact" on those cash-strapped districts. Six months ago, he said people would speak kindly to him in public. "We're not going to get exhausted".

"They're phonies", he said. A stronger public education system goes against everything Bevin and his GOP colleagues stand for. When they did, Hoover posted a comment on social media suggesting Bevin is "out of control; unhinged".

Bevin, whose veto of a two-year spending bill with a almost half-billion-dollar tax increase was overridden by fellow Republicans in the legislature, has recently sparred with teachers groups amid educator protests across the country fueled by claims of low pay and underfunded school systems.

She followed it up with a quote from American poet Maya Angelou, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time".

Heiner, a former member of the Louisville Metro Council, was one of four Republican contestants in the 2015 Republican gubernatorial primary won by Bevin who subsequently appointed him Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.