STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

This 6th-grader helped end West Virginia teachers' strike

As thousands of West Virginia teachers raised their voices, it was 12-year-old Gideon Titus-Glover's message that sto...

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 12:50 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 12:50 PM

As thousands of West Virginia teachers raised their voices, it was 12-year-old Gideon Titus-Glover's message that stood out to the governor.

The 6th-grader's plea to invest in education echoed in the governor's mind. In a matter of hours, Gov. Jim Justice agreed to a 5% pay raise for teachers and other school employees, putting an end to a strike that kept thousands of students out of class for days.

"If you put money in schools you're making smart people, and if you have smart people you can make more smart investments," Gideon told Justice at a Monday town hall meeting in Wheeling.

"Well, he's right, he's right," said Justice, recalling his exchange with Gideon at a press conference on Tuesday.

"To be perfectly honest, in a lot of ways I was looking at this, maybe, not correctly," the governor added.

A key exchange

Gideon had been joining teachers -- including his mother -- on the picket lines since Thursday.

He couldn't go to classes at Triadelphia Middle School, so he carried a sign with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. that says, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

On Monday, he sat among a group of teachers and waited patiently to approach the governor who fielded questions from attendees.

When his turn on the microphone came, Gideon questioned Justice's decision to increase the state's tourism budget compared to education spending. The governor owns a luxury resort in the state, Gideon said.

"I just kind of thought that was wrong," Gideon told CNN.

At first, the governor said he was wasting his time but then, Justice tried to explain about returns on investments.

Turning one dollar into eight is a good investment, the governor said.

"Wouldn't it be an investment to invest in smart teachers that would make me smart and then I can in turn, turn around and do smart, good things for our state?" the student replied.

'He feels very strongly about injustice'

The town hall had left many teachers disappointed. They walked out shaking their heads and feeling "disgusted" and hopeless by the governor's remarks, CNN affiliate WTRF reported.

"I watched the governor and while he was speaking, I cried because it was really touching that he listened to my 12-year old," Gideon's mother Michelle told WTRF.

Gideon was at youth group Tuesday night when someone showed him that the governor talked about him at the press conference.

"I don't think it's sunk in fully, it's kind of crazy that he mentioned me and listened to what I said," Gideon told CNN.

Philip Titus-Glover said his son's intervention at the town hall was "natural." He is a critical thinker who feels "very strongly about injustice."

"Gideon has a strong opinion and he's not afraid to share it," he said.

"It's been the way he's approached life, he's always questioned things," he added. "It's how we live, if he has questions, he's allowed to ask them and we try to answer his questions the best we can."

While the Titus-Glovers don't have any plans to jump into advocacy, Gideon said he wants to be an Air Force pilot when he grows up.

But for now, he's just excited to get back to school Thursday.

West Lafayette
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 66°
Fowler
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 66°
Williamsport
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 71°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Monticello
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events