OUR VIEW: The Billboards are a Smart Decision

OUR VIEW: Money received from the billboards outweighs any consequences

$40,000 would buy over 8,000 daily planners for the high school. It would buy new art supplies for each school in the district. $40,000 would buy a lot and benefit every student in the community.

This is the proposed amount Dexter Community Schools would receive from Adams Outdoors for two on-campus electronic billboards. $40,000 for the schools well outweighs the negatives that accompany the proposed billboards.

Adams Outdoors wants to place two electronic billboards on DCS property: one on Baker Rd between Creekside Intermediate and Bates Elementary, the other on Dexter-Ann Arbor in front of Mill Creek. Due to where the proposed billboards are located, they aren’t under city dictation and the decision falls into the hands of the school community.

Parents are protesting the billboards, with arguments ranging from “The ads could be inappropriate!” to “The lights will distract those that live near them!” To those people we say put up some blinds. Not to be harsh, but these arguments do not make much sense. We have other billboards in town that advertise, such as the one in front of Mill Creek now (which seems to have a new Dexter Orthodontics advertisement every week), and have had no problems with “inappropriate” advertisements. To those that think the lights would be distracting, come on, the proposed places of these signs do not have them facing into people’s front windows. The lights would not be that bright nor distracting.

Many of the people protesting the billboards are the ones who do not spend much time in the schools. As high school students, we witness first hand where $40,000 could be spent in the school district. Such as the fact Dexter High School did not receive student planners this year due to not enough money being in the budget.

As a school district, we are constantly growing and we need materials to support this growth. Having a strong and supportive structure is critical to student success. Each year, money is budgeted out to what is considered most important for the district. This year it seemed getting Apple TV was more important than planners that a large portion of students use each day [but that’s a whole other issue to tackle]. Or, prevention of  the yearly lined-paper drought as we reach the end of second semester. Or, fixing the sinks so that we have more than one working in each bathroom. The $40,000 given to the schools each year could be put towards solving these issues.

Dexter prides itself in being an excellent learning community. The high school views itself as on it’s way to becoming an IB school, with qualified teachers and students that are invested in their learning. We have the teachers. We have the students. It’s time we had a school district that fully matched and supported the vivacity those who spend their time in it demonstrate.

The billboard investment is a smart and necessary choice DCS needs to make.

 

Our View: Snow Days

Snow day determinations should consider new drivers, not just professional bus drivers

By Caden Koenig

Every year, students who attend Dexter Community Schools are awarded with five free snow days.  If the school district awards us more than five snow days, then any snow days, or cold days, over the five day regulation leads to extra days slapped on at the end of the year.

This means if the district has six snow days, then one extra day would be sent to June to make up for that missed day.  However, it is unusual for Mother Nature to help us out and give us enough snow for five snow days. Maybe once a year, we might get a snow day even when the roads aren’t terrible. Or there are the days the roads are awful and we are still required to show up to 2200 North Parker Road at 8:00 a.m. It raises one question: What is the criteria required for a snow day?

It is known by some that our Superintendent Chris Timmis and other school board members make the decision to have a snow day either the night before or the morning of. As of now, the protocol is to assess if the roads are safe enough for students to undergo their daily commute to school. Timmis and other members of the school board wake up early in the morning, or stay up late at night, and drive out on the roads to decide if they are safe, taking into consideration if the buses can safely navigate the roads.

However, the bus driver’s ability to drive on slippery roads should not be the only concern when determining snow days. Everyday in the high school, students are turning 16 and becoming new drivers. With new drivers on the road experiencing their first winter, they may be in danger or putting others in danger. So then it raises the question: Do we base the road conditions off a bus driver who is paid to drive or do we base it off of the lack of skill set and experience of a new driver?

New drivers already have a lack of confidence since they don’t have the experience of driving by themselves.  Add in the fact that winters are hard for all drivers, due to the fact that they add an extra stressor to worry about while behind the wheel, and new drivers won’t be as successful as their bus driving counterparts. This makes driving under poor conditions a recipe for disaster, a drive to school more overwhelming than it already is.

Not only do kids not have the experience, but they don’t have the technology.  The typical entry-level car for a high school student might not be the optimal vehicle for the harsh winter conditions, especially poor roads we face in Michigan.  Meanwhile, the typical school bus is fitted with four rear wheels that provide more surface area for grip on less-than-optimal road conditions. The old, rusted cars that new drivers have don’t compare with a 13-ton bus with 41-inch tires being driven by an experienced driver.  While the buses may be able to get through, an old 2005 Ford Focus may end up in a ditch.

It’s not like buses shouldn’t be taken into consideration at all, but they should take a backseat in priority to the new drivers because the kids in the backseat are more safe than the kids behind the wheel.

“Finstas” Necessary or No?

OUR VIEW: Fake Instagram Accounts Aren’t neccessary, but still worthwhile

For those who do not know or did not see, an article regarding posting on social media was published in the Squall. This article referenced how posting two times a day isn’t ideal for an instagram account.

Enter the finsta.

Some students already know what these “finstas” are, but for those who don’t know, it is a compound word that, when separated, means fake instagram. This new phenomenon has swept many of the normal, daily instagram users. These daily users now have their main account, which is referred to as an “insta” or “rinsta” (rinsta means “real instagram”), where only nice pictures get posted.  Then they have their finsta, which serves a different purpose. In all, most see finstas as unnecessary and is proof that our generation is “too caught up in technology”. I mean they aren’t wrong when saying they aren’t necessary; however, they are a fun new branch of social media.

On a finsta, students can post whatever isn’t deemed insta worthy as often as they want (some rules apply).  You are allowed to post whenever you want.  A creation of a finsta is to merely appease close friends, and because of the content that some finstas contain, it is often purposely kept that way.  Finsta accounts typically remain private, meaning the user controls who follows their account, to prevent the embarrassing pictures from reaching unworthy eyes.  The common teenager takes endless selfies and pictures, so when only a few of those hundred pictures are considered insta worthy, the user becomes overwhelmed with the excessive number of unposted pictures.  With a finsta, students no longer have to keep their embarrassing, entertaining, and random pictures to themselves.

Instas are a different beast. The user only posts their best pictures once a week, and the goal is to get as many likes possible. The focus of a finsta is to share informal pictures with friends.  While the focus of instas are to share nice, quality pictures.  In terms of followers, the more followers a student has on their insta account the better. A majority of users are obsessed with the number of followers they have. The slogan for instas is “the more the better”.  This contradicts to a finsta which has no ideal follower count or like count.

Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, finstas are definitely not necessary and they show how intertwined our generation is with technology.  In the past, users used to never show unworthy pictures, but as students became more attached to technology, they find ways to become more involved with social media.  Having a finsta is in no way detrimental, they are a fun way to keep students connected with each other outside of school hours, but they still aren’t necessary.

Finstas are just the product of students trying to cling to a new internet fad.