A statement from the Kentucky Education Association in response to Labor Cabinet subpoenas

Matt Bevin has proven he has no guiding ethical principles when it comes to undermining the rights of those he disagrees with, and we are not surprised by his latest actions. Educators have not and will not fall victim to threats and intimidation no matter where it comes from. Whether it’s Commissioner Lewis or his Labor Cabinet doing his bidding, the governor’s petty political maneuvers will not deter KEA and our members from our mission to advocate for a quality education for every child in Kentucky. We will be ready for whatever punitive barriers the governor attempts to threaten us with.

These subpoenas and the threat of punishment aimed at educators is another example of his attempt to bully and intimidate Kentuckians who disagree with his policies. For educators, this action again perpetuates the mistrust that they have with those who were elected to represent them in Frankfort. Educators remember that the sewer bill was forced through under the cover of night in order to undermine the efforts of those who opposed it. We remember the Commissioner Lewis asked for the names of educators in ten districts but claimed that his actions were not to be seen as threatening. We remember that the governor called a special session last December in an effort to force through a bill with nearly the same language that educators fought back against in the sewer bill.

It’s no accident that the governor’s administration issued these subpoenas less than 24 hours after announcing that he will call a special legislative session early this summer. It would come as no surprise to educators across the Commonwealth if he called legislators back to Frankfort prior to the end of the school year, daring educators to initiate another sickout and possibly face discipline and cash fines in order to exercise their first amendments rights at the state capitol. However, we will not be deterred.