Kentucky teachers reject governor's apology

Kelsey Hayes Coots is an eighth grade teacher for JCPS. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Kelsey Hayes Coots is an eighth grade teacher for JCPS. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Activists and candidates stepped up to the mic Monday afternoon to criticize Gov. Matt Bevin's explosive remarks attacking teachers, and his subsequent apology.

Bevin released a statement on Facebook Sunday apologizing after saying hundreds of thousands of students were left home alone on Friday, resulting in some being physically harmed or sexually abused. The governor blamed teachers, whose demonstrations at the Capitol caused many schools to close. He also accused teachers of cavalierly and flippantly disregarding what's best for children.

In Bevin's apology, he acknowledged his comments caused many people to be hurt or confused. But he did not take back any of his statements.

"A real apology includes the words, 'I was wrong' and his did not," JCPS Kelsey Hayes Coots said. "The fight I and many others have been engaged in in this legislative session was about much more than just pensions. It is about the all-out assault on our public schools -- an assault spearheaded by our governor."

Teachers and candidates made it clear Monday they intend to let their votes speak for them.

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She added: "I am here to say we did not misunderstand his words. This disparaging of teachers and the public discourse is flat out unacceptable and we will not normalize it. His contempt and disrespect for teachers and public employees is noted and his enablers are on the list."

WAVE 3 News submitted a series of questions to the governor's press office regarding his original statement and his apology. So far there has been no response.

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