Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) suggested Friday that children were physically harmed because they were at home during the statewide teacher strikes, when teachers gathered at the capitol to protest school funding.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them," said Bevin, who sought to shut down bills aimed at expanding the state education budget. "I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn't have enough money to take care of them."

Bevin reportedly complained of the teachers sprawled across the capitol grounds, telling reporters he saw them smoking and "leaving trash around."

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Because of the protests, "hundreds of thousands of children" were likely left at home without childcare, he said. 

Thousands of teachers left their schools to push the state House of Representatives to overturn Bevin's vetoes on a $480 million tax increase and corresponding two-year spending plan, which would spend record levels of state revenue on classrooms. 

Bevin said the tax increase would not be enough to provide the kind of funding demanded by teachers, but the Republican-majority state House voted to overturn his vetoes. 

While the Kentucky teachers have not demanded pay raises, the protests were inspired by the statewide strikes in West Virginia last month that pushed the legislature to give a five percent salary increase.