Gov. Matt Bevin's apology for Friday's controversial comments getting mixed reaction

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Teachers and their supporters across Kentucky wore black Monday to show their anger at comments made by Gov. Matt Bevin.

On Friday, Bevin said children had been harmed because they were left home alone after massive teacher protests shut down several school districts.

“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,” Bevin told a small group of reporters outside the Capitol.

Bevin released a video on Sunday apologizing for the comments.

“Many people have been confused or hurt or just misunderstand what it was that I was trying to communicate,” Bevin said. “I'm sorry for those of you, every single one of you, that has been hurt by things that I've said.”

Regina Boone, president of the Hardin County Education Association, said Monday she is not ready to accept Bevin’s apology.

“That wasn't an apology," she said. "Someone made him do it, but that wasn't a genuine apology."

Boone said Bevin's comments were especially painful because she is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Boone said her stepfather raped her when she was 13 years old.

“Our governor is wrong to even insinuate that a child could have been hurt because we're fighting for the things that we believe in,” Boone said.

A number of Bevin’s political opponents, such as Democratic Secretary of State Alison Grimes, also expressed doubt that the apology was sincere.

Grimes posted on Twitter, "Actual translation: ‘Meant what I said. Could have said it better. Sorry, not sorry.’”

Republican Rep. Phil Moffett of Louisville called Bevin’s comments disappointing, unnecessary and hurtful. But he believes Bevin is truly sorry.

“It maybe could have been said a little bit better," Moffett said. "But the reality is when someone makes a mistake, and they're willing to apologize for it, I'm willing to accept that apology."

The dispute with Bevin has no doubt fired up teachers. Now Boone hopes it also energizes survivors of child abuse.

“I am proud of who I've become. You can do the same,” she said. ”Your past doesn't dictate who you are. You determine who you are.”

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