LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin took another swipe at Kentucky teachers Thursday, claiming their recent sickouts were to blame for the shooting of a young girl.
Speaking to the Louisville Rotary Club, Bevin was apparently referring to the March 12 shooting of a 7-year-old girl at her home in Shively.
“One thing you didn’t hear anything about, when we had people pretending to be sick that weren’t sick, and leaving kids unattended to, in situations they should not have been in, a little girl was shot, seven years old, by another kid because they were somewhere they weren’t intending to be, and (their) parents didn’t have any option to put them in a situation so they could go to work, that left these kids in a compromised situation when they encountered a gun and not enough awareness,” Bevin said Thursday.
Teachers in several districts across the state staged sickouts throughout the recently-concluded legislative session to rally in support of three education-related measures up for consideration.
The sickouts were so numerous that some districts had to cancel classes. JCPS schools closed six times from Feb. 28 to March 14.
The shooting was reported just after 3 p.m., approximately 45 minutes before JCPS elementary schools dismiss at 3:45 p.m. It still hasn’t been confirmed, however, whether the shooting victim attended a JCPS school.
The Kentucky Democratic Party released a statement calling Bevin’s comments “disgusting and unforgivable.”
"He’s completely out of control,” the statement continued. “Kentuckians deserve better than this.”
Attorney General Andy Beshear immediately responded to Bevin’s comments on Twitter, saying, “Despicable. Matt Bevin is unfit to govern. Kentucky families, teachers, and kids deserve so much better than this governor.”
Geoff Yong, a Democratic candidate running for governor, said he believes Bevin is just “talking like a politician as usual.”
“I think Governor Bevin has no basis to come to that conclusion,” Young said.
Adam Edelen, another Democrat running for governor, also weighed in.
"What's happened here isn't political, despite Governor Bevin's effort to make it so. The fact a child was shot is a tragedy,” Edelen said. “It just shows a governor who is badly out of touch with his state and I’m afraid badly out of touch with reality. And I hope the Governor can have moment of reflection and think about how far out of bounds he was with his comments."
Governor Bevin will face three candidates in the May primary. There are also four Democratic candidates running for governor.