Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin Blames Teacher Sickouts for Shooting of 7-Year-Old

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin reopened political wounds with Kentucky teachers on Thursday when he blamed their sickouts for the shooting of a 7-year-old.

During remarks to the Louisville Rotary Club at the Muhammad Ali Center, Bevin responded to a question about what can be done to stem gun violence.

More attention must be spent on looking at behavioral health and firearms safety as opposed to the government creating more gun regulations, Bevin said.

“One thing you almost didn’t hear anything about while we had people pretending to be sick when they weren’t sick and leaving kids unattended to or in situations that they should not have been in — a little girl was shot, 7 years old, by another kid,” he said.

“Because they were somewhere that they weren’t intended and because a parent didn’t have any option, put them in a situation so that they could go to work, it left these kids in a compromised situation where they encountered a gun and there was not enough awareness.”

The governor appeared to be referring to a March 12 shooting in the Shively area when a 7-year-old girl was shot by her 11-year-old brother inside their home while their guardian, their uncle, was outside, officials said.

Bevin’s office did not respond to an email asking whether the governor was talking about that incident.

It is unclear whether the children attended Jefferson County Public Schools.

In a March 27 release, Shively police said the boy accidentally shot his sister and she was taken to Norton Children’s Hospital for surgery. The girl was “listed in good condition, being transferred to begin rehabilitation, eating solid food.”

The department has not responded to requests for further information.

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SOURCE: Louisville Courier Journal, Phillip M. Bailey and Mandy McLaren