Three Cheers for Comrade TikTok Teen

Nevada teen Gillian Sullivan on Tik Tok
Screenshot: gill.no.chill/Tik Tok

A Nevada teen’s TikTok went viral over the past week after calling for her peers at her school district to strike in solidarity with their teachers over a contract dispute—and won.

Last week, Gillian Sullivan, who is a student at the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, blasted the district in a video on the app, explaining to viewers that teachers were not getting they pay they deserve and were promised.

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“Literally, they won’t pay the teachers what the teachers earned,” Sullivan said in her TikTok about the dispute. “Personally, I don’t think this is fair and I’m kind of sick of our district thinking it’s OK to walk all over teachers and students all of the time...So if you’re sick of this too and you want respect for yourself as a student but also for your teachers please strike Sept. 5th because I’m done and you should be too.”

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the school district and the local teachers union, the Clark County Education Association, were in a contract dispute over a salary system agreement the two had previously agreed upon, which gave teachers raises for pursuing higher education beyond a master’s degree.

In a proposed contract for 2019–2021, CCSD left out the salary agreement, which was a slap in the face for teachers who’d invested thousands to pursue higher education.

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Sullivan told Teen Vogue that she called for the strike because the teachers themselves couldn’t—in Nevada, teachers’ strikes are illegal, and if a judge issues an order blocking a strike, the union faces fines of up to $50,000 a day, with striking teachers subject to punishment or termination. The teacher’s union had threatened to strike on Sept. 10, but the district had already filed a legal injunction against the strike.

But on Wednesday, the union and the district reached an agreement. Subsequently, Sullivan canceled the strike, but said that students are ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice.

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“Within the past 24 hours, the issue has been resolved and the school district has offered to give the teachers raises, and a lot of that has to do with people going to social media,” Gillian told Teen Vogue. “Talking about it within our community really helped.”

“...I hope that that keeps the district aware that it’s not just teachers who are going to stand up. It’s students too,” she continued.

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Students standing with their teachers as they fight for the pay they deserve? Warms the heart.

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About the author

Samantha Grasso

Splinter Staff Writer, Texan