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Kentucky governor apologizes for comments linking teachers strike to sexual assault

Kentucky governor apologizes for comments linking teachers strike to sexual assault

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is apologizing for his remarks that suggested the teacher walkouts left children vulnerable to harm, drugs and even sexual assault.

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

While speaking with reporters in Frankfort Friday, Bevin claimed that teachers who called in sick to protest put the children's lives in danger.

The response comes a day after the state's Republican-led House of Representatives approved a pair of resolutions condemning Bevin's comments - an act on the final day of the legislative session that the Associated Press described as "an extraordinary rebuke".

On Sunday, Bevin said many people misunderstood his comments.

On Sunday, Bevin said "I'm sorry", but buffered the apology with about four minutes of wordy passive voice.

House Republicans have said they see his comments as exacerbating the already complicated debate over teacher pensions, leading to the thousands of teachers that have descended on the Capitol in recent days.

He also said he apologized to those who "have been hurt by the things that were said.it was not my intent". Bevin acknowledged his comments may have been hurtful, but teachers said the apology it wasn't honest.

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In a almost 4-minute video, Bevin apologized to those who "couldn't fully appreciate" what he was communicating and said he was sorry for any confusion and hurt.

"I am grateful for Secretary Heiner's skilled and selfless leadership of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet over these past two and a half years", Bevin said in a statement. "You are quite right - we all need each other".

After electing a Republican governor in 2015 and giving the party full control of the state legislature for the first time in 2016, it seemed the GOP had solidified its grip on Kentucky for years to come.

But, Jim Carroll, the President of Kentucky Government Retirees, said there was no "confusion" over Bevin's comments.

"Many people have been confused or hurt or just misunderstand what it was that I was trying to communicate", Bevin said.

"For those of you who understand what I was saying, thank you", Bevin said in the social media.

Teachers had flocked to Frankfort on Friday to rally for public education and call for the governor's vetoes of the tax reform and budget bills to be overridden.

Democrat Rep. James Kay of Versailles didn't hold back any sarcasm about Bevin's apology, either. "His contempt and disrespect for teachers and public employees is noted and his enablers are on the list".

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