Kentucky’s Governor Just Apologized for Claiming Teacher Protest Led to Sexual Assaults

“I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said.”

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. Alex Slit/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) issued an apology Sunday following outrage over his assertion that a walkout by teachers in the state likely led to children being sexually assaulted and facing other “physical” harms. 

“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 told a WDRB reporter on Friday after thousands of teachers demonstrated at the state capitol, leading to school closures around the state. Bevin’s comment sparked a public backlash and an official condemnation from Kentucky lawmakers. 

In a video posted Sunday, Bevin apologized for the “unintended consequences” of his remarks. “For those of you who understood what I’m saying, thank you. But clearly a tremendous number of people did not fully appreciate what it was that I was communicating, and I hurt a lot of people,” he said. “I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said. That was not my intent whatsoever.” 

Kentucky teachers have sparred with Bevin over his handling of the state’s pension plan and his recent veto of a budget bill that would increase school funding. State lawmakers overrode the veto on Friday. Teachers across the state are reportedly asking other educators to wear black on Monday in protest of the governor’s comments.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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