Just one week after traveling Kentucky with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to advocate for her plan to co-opt federal tax dollars from public schools to support private and religious schools, Governor Bevin once again thrust himself into the debates about education, teachers – and gun control.
On Thursday, Bevin told members of a Kentucky Rotary Club that public school teachers who staged a “sick-out” were responsible for the non-fatal shooting of a 7-year old girl, as the Courier Journal reports.
That young girl was shot accidentally by her 11-year old brother while they were reportedly in the care of their uncle, who was outside at the time.
“One thing you almost didn’t hear anything about while we had people pretending to be sick when they weren’t sick, and leaving kids unattended to or in situations that they should not have been in — a little girl was shot, 7 years old, by another kid,” Governor Bevin said.
“Because they were somewhere that they weren’t intended and because a parent didn’t have any option, put them in a situation so that they could go to work, it left these kids in a compromised situation where they encountered a gun and there was not enough awareness.”
The teachers, who are by law not allowed to strike, organized the sick out to protest at the state capitol after lawmakers without notice started to legislate away their pension rights.
This is far from Bevin’s only attack on public school teachers, and far from his most controversial remark.
One year ago Bevin blamed teachers for children being raped and “introduced to drugs”during a teachers’ protest over the state budget that forced schools to close.
“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, said in April of 2018. “I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were left alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them.”
“Children were harmed – some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time – because they were vulnerable and left alone,” he insisted.
There were no reports of any children harmed as a result of the strike.
Bevin also came under fire nationally – and at one point even by popular NBC weatherman Al Roker – after the governor mocked some school districts in his own state for deciding to close during sub-zero weather.
“By the way, this nitwit governor in Kentucky, saying that, ‘Oh, we’re weak.’ These are kids who are going to be in sub-zero wind chills. No, cancel school. Stop it. Adults, if they want to be out there, that’s great. These are our children,” Roker blasted back in January.
In February of 2018, after a horrific shooting in Kentucky, Bevin blamed “psychiatric drugs,” but not guns, for America’s gun violence and mass shooting pandemic.
And last month Bevin, who does not believe in science or vaccines, came under fire after he revealed he had sent all nine of his own children to a “chicken pox party” because “this is America.”
Bevin, according to a recent poll, is the nation’s most unpopular governor.