Kentucky governor on schools closing for extreme cold: ‘We’re getting soft’

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s Republican governor is getting some heat for saying school districts are being too “soft” on kids when they cancel classes because of cold weather.

Many of Kentucky’s schools closed Wednesday with forecasts predicting wind chills well below zero degrees.

Gov. Matt Bevin told WHAS radio on Tuesday that closing schools for cold weather “sends 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.”

Bevin added that he’s “being only slightly facetious.” He also said it is “better to err on the side of being safe.”

Host Terry Meiners mentioned Bevin’s kids would be up late since there was no school Wednesday. Bevin then quipped about canceling for cold.

“It’s deep freeze; this is serious business,” he said.

Meiners replied the wind chill was predicted to be as low as negative 15 degrees in some parts. Bevin disagreed.

“Come on, now. There’s no ice going with it or any snow. What happens to America? We’re getting soft, Terry, we’re getting soft,” he said.

Many teachers, school administrators and political rivals did not see it as a joke. Democratic candidate for governor Adam Edelen called Bevin’s comments “dumb and mean.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports the Kentucky Education Association wasn’t pleased, tweeting, “We will always support decisions made for the health & safety of Kentucky’s children. Always.”

Bevin, not backing down, took to Twitter to lash out at the reaction to his comments.

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