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GOP Governor: Child Shooting is Teachers’ Fault

GOP Governor: Child Shooting is Teachers’ Fault

GOP Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky reportedly said that teachers are to blame for a child dying from a gunshot wound. The shooter was reportedly the girl’s 11-year-old brother, and this occurred while the two were inside their home and the adult responsible for their care was outside. Contrary to the Governor’s claim, the child was not killed, and was said to be in stable condition and able to eat shortly after the initial report.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 11: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speak, during a prison reform roundtable in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, on January 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. State and local leaders joined Trump to discuss programs intended to help prisoners re-enter the workforce among other policy initiatives. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

However, Bevin told a group of Rotary Club members Thursday that this happened because of teachers.

Kentucky Public Radio‘s Ryland Barton, live-tweeting the event, said that Bevin referred to teachers as “pretending to be sick,” and connected the sick-out to the shooting.

The governor appears to have segued into this new attack on teachers from a discussion of guns, with the assertion that measures to reduce shootings should focus more on mental health and less on restrictions regarding who can access weapons, and what types. Bevin has been criticizing both gun control measures and teacher sick-outs for some time, with his administration going so far as to subpoena records for teacher absences.

According to WKYT, teachers called in sick in March to attend rallies addressing legislation on matters pertaining to public education.

Governor Bevin tweeted the day before the shooting, condemning the sick-outs in text and video. In that tweet, he accused teachers of endangering students’ livelihood, and only pretending that their efforts were for the good of the students. He complained that he feels school districts are supporting the teachers by allowing them to use sick days, and that they are giving teachers extra sick days for political use.

The Courier-Journal noted that, while the shooting did occur during hours when most elementary schools in the district have not yet dismissed, police have not confirmed whether the children in question do attend those public schools, and a spokesperson for Jefferson County public schools was also unable to confirm this.

Bevin had previously claimed that teacher sick-outs would cause children to be left home alone, sexually assaulted, physically harmed, and/or poisoned, because of schools being closed.

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