Kentucky governor apologizes for saying teacher strike led to sexual assaults

April 15 (Reuters) - Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin apologized on Sunday for saying last week that a teacher walkout that shut schools in many of the state's districts led to children being sexually assaulted.

In an interview with a WDRB-TV television reporter on Friday, the Republican governor said he could guarantee that somewhere in Kentucky a child was sexually assaulted after being left home with no supervision because of the walkout.

In a video statement on Sunday, Bevin said: "I'm sorry for those of you, every single one of you, that has been hurt by things that I've said."

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Kentucky teachers protest against pension reform bill
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Kentucky teachers protest against pension reform bill
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 2: Public school teachers and their supporters protest against a pension reform bill outside the senate chambers at the Kentucky State Capital April 2, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers are calling for higher wages and are demanding that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin veto a bill that overhauls their pension plan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY-APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Thousands of Kentucky teachers rallied at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. on Monday, April 2, 2018. (Alex Slitz/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS via Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers protest outside the Kentucky House Chamber as they rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Thousands of Kentucky school teachers marched Monday, April 2, 2018 from the Kentucky Education Association's headquarters to the State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. to protest legislative changes to their pensions and education cuts. Public schools in all 120 Kentucky counties were closed Monday, either to join in the protest or because of spring break. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS via Getty Images)
Thousands of Kentucky school teachers marched Monday, April 2, 2018 from the Kentucky Education Association's headquarters to the State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. to protest legislative changes to their pensions and education cuts. Public schools in all 120 Kentucky counties were closed Monday, either to join in the protest or because of spring break. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS via Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers stand for the National Anthem in the House Chamber as they rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY-APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY-APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers arrive rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers wait to get into the Kentucky State Capitol for a 'day of action' to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 2: Public school teachers and their supporters protest against a pension reform bill at the Kentucky State Capitol April 2, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers are calling for higher wages and are demanding that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin veto a bill that overhauls their pension plan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 13: Kentucky Public school teachers rally for a 'day of action' at the Kentucky State Capitol to try to pressure legislators to override Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's recent veto of the state's tax and budget bills April 13, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers also oppose a controversial pension reform bill which Gov. Bevin signed into law. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 2: Public school teachers and their supporters protest against a pension reform bill at the Kentucky State Capitol April 2, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers are calling for higher wages and are demanding that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin veto a bill that overhauls their pension plan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FRANKFORT, KY - APRIL 2: Thousands of public school teachers and their supporters protest against a pension reform bill at the Kentucky State Capitol April 2, 2018 in Frankfort, Kentucky. The teachers are calling for higher wages and are demanding that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin veto a bill that overhauls their pension plan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
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Kentucky's Republican-majority House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution on Saturday criticizing the governor's comments, and the Republican state Senate president said Bevin should apologize, according to local media.

Teachers in Kentucky, as well as in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, have held recent walkouts or protests demanding more funds for education, including teachers' salaries and pensions.

Kentucky legislators voted on Friday to override Bevin's veto of a two-year state budget that increased education funding through a $480 million tax increase.

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin
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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin
Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin speaks at 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (L) talk at a meeting during the National Governors Association summer meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, U.S., July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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)
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin addresses the crowd as they wait for the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump for a campaign stop in Louisville, Kentucky, March 20, 2017. REUTERS/John Sommers II
GEORGETOWN, KY - OCTOBER 30: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin speaks at the unveiling of a new $80 million Toyota engineering headquarters October 30, 2017 in Georgetown, Kentucky. The 235,000 square foot state-of-the-art Product Engineering and Manufacturing Center (PEMC) is the final building constructed under the 'One Toyota' project. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FOUNTAIN RUN, KY - MAY 17: Kentucky Republican senatorial candidate Matt Bevin greets voters at the Fountain Run BBQ Festival while campaigning for the Republican primary May 17, 2014 in Fountain Run, Kentucky. Bevin and Senate Minoriry Leader Mitch McConnell are campaigning heavily throughout the state during the final weekend before the Republican primary to be held May 20. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
FOUNTAIN RUN, KY - MAY 17: Kentucky Republican senatorial candidate Matt Bevin holds newsborn Mary Halston Brandon at the Fountain Run BBQ Festival while campaigning for the Republican primary May 17, 2014 in Fountain Run, Kentucky. Bevin and Senate Minoriry Leader Mitch McConnell are campaigning heavily throughout the state during the final weekend before the Republican primary to be held May 20. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Senate Republican primary candidate Matt Bevin (L) campaigns in a restaurant in Sligo, Kentucky, on April 23, 2014. Bevin, an unknown businessman, opposes Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader , with 30 years in the US Senate. Bevin launched an incendiary campaign on behalf of the Tea Party, to eject the McConnell, 72, in the Republican Senate primary to be held in May. AFP PHOTO / Ivan COURONNE (Photo credit should read Ivan COURONNE/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 14: Matt Bevin, republican Senate candidate for Kentucky, talks with diners at the Village Restaurant in Liberty, Ky., April 14, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: Matt Bevin, republican Senate candidate for Kentucky, high fives Isabelle Sester, right, and Katelyn Hall, both 10, during the Knob Creek Gun Range Machine Gun Shoot Out in West Point, Ky. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: Matt Bevin, republican Senate candidate for Kentucky, talks with an attendee of the Knob Creek Gun Range Machine Gun Shoot Out in West Point, Ky. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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Bevin said on Friday that single-parent households in the state had been forced to leave children at home and in peril of not just sexual assault, but of ingesting poison or being offered drugs for the first time.

In his apology video on Sunday, Bevin appeared to defend some of the comments he had made.

"We can't be so consumed with the financial that we fail to appreciate the ripple effect of the real people that are involved," Bevin said on Sunday.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Additional reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)

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