Teachers, Democrats reject Kentucky gov's apology over sexual assault remarks

Governor: Kids harmed due to teachers' strike
Governor: Kids harmed due to teachers' strike

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Governor: Kids harmed due to teachers' strike 01:24

Washington (CNN)Some Kentucky teachers and politicians aren't ready to forgive Gov. Matt Bevin for suggesting that a teachers' strike left children vulnerable to sexual assault.

On Friday, the Republican governor said that he could "guarantee" that "somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them."
The governor's comments were met with bipartisan criticism and Bevin has since issued an apology.
In a video posted to YouTube, the governor said that "many people have been confused or hurt or just misunderstand what it was that I was trying to communicate," adding, "I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said. It was not my intent whatsoever."
    That apology, however, is getting pushback.
    Tammy Berlin, the vice president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association in Louisville, Kentucky, told CNN by phone that "it was a disingenuous apology. He didn't really apologize for what he said. He just apologized for how people construed it which is not really an apology at all.
    "We're still disappointed in the governor and his comments," Berlin, a high school teacher in the state, added.
    "A real apology includes the words, 'I was wrong' and his did not," Kelsey Hayes Coots, a teacher in Kentucky's Jefferson County Public Schools, said in a video published by WAVE News.
    Hayes Coots called the governor's comments "disturbing," and said, "I and many others do not accept the governor's apology."
    The Kentucky Education Association declined to comment on the governor's apology.
    Kentucky secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, responded to the apology by writing on Facebook, "Actual translation: 'Meant what I said. Could have said it better. Sorry, not sorry.'"
    "Hey Everyone, we got it cleared up. The governor is sorry you misunderstood him. He was right, you were wrong, but if that hurt your feelings, he's sorry," Democratic state Rep. James Kay said on Twitter.
    Kentucky House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins said in a statement that the video posted by Bevin "shows he still does not comprehend why so many were understandably upset," according to the Courier-Journal.
    A CNN request for comment to the governor's office was not immediately returned.