Kentucky governor: Closing schools for cold temperatures signals that ‘we’re getting soft’

By Karla Ward - Lexington Herald Leader

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Political rivals and educators took Gov. Matt Bevin to task after he told a talk-radio host that canceling schools for cold weather is an indication that “we’re getting soft.”

Bevin followed up the comment by saying that “it’s better to err on the side of being safe, and I’m being only slightly facetious.”

WHAS radio host Terry Meiners brought up the topic of school closings when Bevin visited with him on-air Tuesday afternoon. Meiners commented that Bevin would be up late with his kids Tuesday night because there would be no school Wednesday.

“Now we cancel school for cold,” Bevin responded.

“It’s deep freeze!” Meiners said. “This is serious business.”

“C’mon now,” Bevin replied. “There’s no ice going with it or any snow. I mean, what happened to America? We’re getting soft, Terry. We’re getting soft.”

Bevin went on to say a few moments later, “It’s better to err on the side of being safe, and I’m being only slightly facetious. But it does concern me a little bit that, in America, on this and any number of other fronts, we’re sending messages to our young people that if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard, and that isn’t reality. It just isn’t.”

The Kentucky Education Association responded by tweeting, “We will always support decisions made for the health & safety of Kentucky’s children. Always.”

Democratic Rep. Rocky Adkins, who is running against Bevin in the upcoming gubernatorial election, tweeted, “The governor doesn’t understand public education and he is out of touch with everyday families. It’s about the safety of Kentucky kids.”

And Republican Rep. Robert Goforth, who also is challenging Bevin in the governor’s race, tweeted, “Easy for a guy to say who went to the @gouldacademy -a $60k/yr prep school. I’m with KY’s kids!”

Many Kentucky school districts and public universities canceled classes on Wednesday because of frigid temperatures in the forecast. The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory, saying wind chills as low as minus 15 degrees were expected for parts of the state.

By Karla Ward

Lexington Herald Leader

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