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

18 April 2018

"I'm offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded what's truly best for children".

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. Kentucky is one of several states, including West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, to be roiled by teacher protests in recent weeks.

Thousands of teachers left their schools last week to push for the state House of Representatives to overturn Bevin's vetoes on a $480 million tax increase and two-year spending plan.

The protests in Kentucky follow teachers' demonstrations across several states, demanding higher pay and more funding for education.

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".

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

His office could not be reached for comment. Bevin acknowledged his comments may have been hurtful, but teachers said the apology it wasn't honest. I don't agree with these comments and I find them repulsive.

And after watching the video Sunday, she said, 'Seriously?

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On Saturday, one day after the teachers' one-day strike, the Republican-led Kentucky House swiftly approved two resolutions condemning Bevin's comments in a sharp bipartisan rebuke. Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchaster, and House Democrat Leader Rocky Adkins both said he needed to apologize. But he scoffed at the notion of Republican rule being in jeopardy.

'I think he's gotten so much heat that he had to say something, ' Cooper said. Six months ago, he said people would speak kindly to him in public.

"They're phonies", he said. The included Republican Rep. Adam Koenig from the northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati, where Bevin has some of his strongest support. Bevin's pension-reform bill, which he signed on Tuesday, requires new teachers to enter a cash-balance plan, and not a traditional pension.

'It's my responsibility to represent you, not only when I'm speaking to you, but when I'm speaking on your behalf in ways that are clear, that are understood, that don't hurt people and don't confuse people, ' he said.

Robin Cooper, an occupational therapist in Fayette County, claims that Bevin's apology was little more than an act of self-defense.

"I grew up surrounded by an appreciation that this is not an easy task", he said of teaching.

"There is no rational comment I could make to that."

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