On Friday, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin made a controversial remark about the teacher strike:
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. I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn't have enough money to take care of them.
You know many children live in urban communities and rural communities where there's a single parent who literally, if they could afford to skip work and not lose their job, they couldn't afford to because they need the money. They don't have a backup for them. They don't get paid whether they go to work or not. They don't have an option. And some of them were given literally a matter of hours. So, you know for a fact there were hundreds of thousands of children who were left unattended, and some of them in communities where people knew that for a fact and took advantage of it. And as surely as were are having this conversation, children were harmed – some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time because they were vulnerable and left alone. It's offensive, frankly.
On Sunday, Bevin released what some might call an apology, stating in part:
On Friday evening, I made some comments about the unintended consequences of schools being shut down – some with just a matter of hours of notice – less than 24, and the result that can come from that. ...
One of the other things that's clear about unintended consequences is sometimes the words that people say, the way in which they say it, or just the misunderstanding that comes from that also can have unintended consequences. And I think that is what happened from the very things that I said.
The responsibility for such things falls on the person doing the speaking. In this case, that was me. And so for those of you who understood what I'm saying, thank you, I appreciate that you do. But clearly, a tremendous number of people did not fully appreciate what it was that I was communicating or what it was that I was trying to say, and I hurt a lot of people.
Many people have been confused or hurt or just misunderstand what it was that I was trying to communicate. That's my responsibility. It truly is. And I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said. [It] was not my intent whatsoever.