LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Teachers across the state dressed in black on Monday to protest Governor Matt Bevin’s controversial comments on Friday’s teacher rally in Frankfort.
“We were just shocked and sad really. For me I almost had tears in my eyes by the time it was over because I couldn’t believe that someone would say that about myself or my colleagues because that’s so far from the truth,” said Amanda Sewell, a teacher at Tates Creek High School in Lexington.
Amanda Sewell was one of thousands of teachers who rallied in Frankfort last Friday.
“You know it was just another stand of solidarity with teachers. We just wanted our presence to be known. We wanted them to know we were watching. We were waiting,” said Sewell.
After a long day of rallying, Sewell says she and and her fellow teachers packed up, satisfied with the legislatures decision to override Gov. Bevin’s vetoes of the tax and budget bills.
“You know at the end of the day we were all glad it was over and then we heard the remarks from the governor,” said Sewell.
“You know here’s what’s crazy to me. You know how many children today were left home alone. I guarantee somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them,” said Gov. Bevin, to reporters at the capitol Friday night.
“I had to listen to it multiple times because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and you just couldn’t believe that our governor would say those things about us teachers,” said Sewell.
Sewell wasn’t alone, immediately after the governor’s comments went viral causing a firestorm of criticism and a video response from the governor posted to his Facebook page Sunday.
“Many people have been confused or hurt or just misunderstand what it was that I was trying to communicate. That’s my responsibility it truly is and I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said. It was not my intent whatsoever,” said Gov. Bevin in the video posted to his Facebook page.
“I think the word apology isn’t even really… you can’t say it was an apology. It was so far from an apology,” said Sewell.
That’s why Sewell and thousands of teachers across Kentucky showed up to school Monday dressed in black.
“We are wearing black today to black out those words because it is not acceptable. We want him to know that we basically don’t really accept his apology because it wasn’t an apology,” said Sewell.
Sewell says it won’t stop here, she and her fellow teachers are in this for the long haul.
“Election season’s coming. Just because the legislative session is over doesn’t mean we are going to go away. I think that teachers have found their voice and they’re not going to let that voice go away and I think hopefully we are going to see some change,” said Sewell.