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.
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.
Bevin says that during one of the teacher protests while teachers were "pretending to be sick", a kid home alone shot and killed another kid
— Ryland Barton (@RylandKY) April 25, 2019
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.
SICK OF "SICKOUTS?"
So are many Kentuckians…
Thank you to the many professionals who continue putting the needs of our children ahead of their own political interests…
— Governor Matt Bevin (2015-2019) (@GovMattBevin) March 11, 2019
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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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com