Finally, Drinking Fountains and Sinks Work

The Dexter school board recently decided to install new Elkay water
fountains. This was due to the ineffectiveness of the previous water
fountains, which had problems ranging from low water pressure to being simply inoperable. They have finally updated them with a completely different design and function. The new fountains have better working traditional faucets. In addition, they have added a sensor fountain for those with refillable bottles. These have proved much more effective, as they all work, and are more useful for everyone in the school. -Summer Waltz

Loch and Order

Loch Alpine is not your typical suburb. For the most part, it’s completely surrounded by dense foliage, and in the parts where it’s not, it has a lovely view of… an overgrown and abandoned golf course.

The golf course was once the main attraction of the neighborhood, having been modeled off of Barton Hills by Ward Blakely in 1928. When Blakely died in 1935, his son took over construction, adding the clubhouse to the original plan for the neighborhood. In 1954, however, the golf course and clubhouse were sold, and since 1961, the ownership has been transferred often.

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News Briefs

The biggest local, national, and international news stories that happened over the past month

By Finn Bell

Saltwater Surprise Shocks Students

DHS students recently noticed something strange about the water in the drinking fountains: it was salty. On May 10, the school readjusted its water softener system. This readjustment left some salt in the plumbing, leading to the water in the drinking fountains and bottle refillers tasting awful and salty. While this surprise didn’t last long, it certainly left a bad taste in many student’s mouths.

North and South Korea seek Peace

For the first time in over six decades, a north Korean Leader has set foot in South Korea. This has come as part of new peace negotiations between the two nations. These negotiations are likely to see an official end to the Korean war, after a 60 year armistice. They would also involve both countries recognizing each other as legitimate nations for the first time, as opposed to both sides claiming ownership of both sides of the Korean peninsula.

Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Facebook is in hot water after news broke that it allowed Cambridge Analytica, a data collecting firm, to access the personal information of over 50 million individuals using the social network. Cambridge Analytica, who at the time was working with the Trump Campaign, gathered information on potential voters all across the nation in order to make psychological profiles for the Trump campaign. This has spurred public outcry across the nation over what many view as Facebook violating their privacy, leading to boycotts and investigations of Facebook, which included the companies CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress.

Bill Cosby Found Guilty

After a long and grueling legal battle, comedian Bill Cosby has been found guilty of 3 accounts of indecent aggravated assault after a jury convicted him on April 26. The conviction — which has come after nearly 60 women have come forth and said Cosby sexually assaulted them — will land him a minimum of 30 years in prison. As Cosby is already 80 years old, this is likely to be a life sentence.

NASA Launches Planet Hunting Satellite

Coasting off of the recent momentum in the field of space flight, NASA has launched a new satellite aboard a Space-X rocket. Starting in June, the satellite, named TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite), is designed to find planets orbiting around distant stars. It will do this by measuring the difference in lighting created when a planet passes between the star and the satellite. While limited in scope, this satellite is expected to find thousands of planets, some of which may be habitable.

Saskatchewan Bus Crash

Tragedy struck the Canadian town of Humboldt, Saskatchewan on April 6, when a semi-truck collided with a bus transporting a junior hockey team. The accident — which occurred as the bus was on its way to the town of Nipawin for a hockey game — left 15 dead and 14 more injured, when the bus collided with the side of the semi-truck at an intersection. There has been a public outpour of support for the small town after the tragedy, as numerous politicians and celebrities have made visits to the town, including a presentation of the Stanley Cup to the recovering survivors.

Town Hall for Our Lives

In April, current and former DHS students organized a Town Hall over the hotly debated topic of gun control

By Finn Bell

For many, it may seem as though the March for Our Lives movement is dead, but this couldn’t be any further from the truth. While there hasn’t been any million-person marches lately, all across the country, the movement is alive and well in the form of town halls. These small, local events serve as platforms for members of communities to speak to their representatives. And as the 2018 midterm elections grow nearer,  Town Halls are excellent opportunities for people to find out where candidates stand on issues such as gun control. One such town hall event took place here, in Dexter.

The Dexter Town Hall for Our Lives was hosted in the Dexter Public Library on April 8. The event — which was organized by DHS alumni Julia Bell and Gianna Eisele — had four planned speakers: 7th Congressional District Candidate Steven Friday, 7th Congressional District Candidate Gretchen Driskell, State Representative Donna Lasinski, and 7th District Congressman Tim Walberg. However, of those four Walberg did not attend, and Driskell only had time to make opening remarks before having to leave. This was unfortunate, as Walberg was the only anti-gun-regulation planned to be there, leaving the even very one-sided.

The event started with short speeches from Bell and Eisele, focusing on the importance of students in the blossoming movement.

“The heart of the most powerful movement in the country are students no older than ourselves,” said Bell. “But while our generation is the soul of this movement, we can’t accomplish any of our goals alone. We need our parents, we need our teachers, we need our neighbors”

“For too long students have been kept out of political discussion” said Eisele, “We have been told that we are too young, that we don’t understand, but really that’s not true.”

The majority of the event consisted of a traditional town hall format, with Friday and Lasinski answering questions. Lasinski focused on the importance of gun safety.

“Responsible gun owners want other gun owners to be responsible as well,” Lasinski said. 

Friday, meanwhile, devoted a large portion of his time to speaking against gun-lobbyist groups such as the NRA and lobbyist groups in general. The town hall also included speeches from DHS students, including Seniors Georgia Frost, Evelyn Hawley, and Sabina Carty. One of the most powerful moments of the event happened during Carty’s speech.

“Who remembers being shocked, saddened, surprised or horrified of the Columbine shooting,” Carty asked and was met with almost every hand raised. “And who remembers being saddened or horrified by the Parkland shooting?” Almost no one raised their hand.

The town hall concluded with audience questions, and a plea to attendees to get out and vote this November.

News Briefs

The biggest local, national, and international news stories that happened over the past few months

By Finn Bell

DHS to receive new Drinking Fountains and Faucets

Dexter High School is going to be receiving new drinking fountains and faucets over the summer as part of the latest bond. Superintendent Timmis announced this in a tweet on February 27, alongside an image of the new drinking fountains. They will be a combination of a drinking fountain and water bottle refiller. This is welcome news, as DHS currently has very few working faucets and drinking fountains, which is a real nuisance for teachers and students alike.

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United They Stand

Truck line students join together to show their support for Florida shooting victims

By Bailey Welshans

Guns, flags, hateful comments, and more uproar.

Dexter High School had it all Wednesday morning.

At 10 AM this morning, students walked out of Dexter High School for 17 minutes in remembrance of the students who were killed during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

However, many feel it turned into much more.

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DHS Students Plan Walkout for School Safety

Protests will occur in schools around the United States as part of the #NeverAgain movement

by Isabella Franklin and Alisha Birchmeier

Throughout the country, students are protesting gun violence by walking out of school as part of a movement called “#NeverAgain.” American high schools have come up with a way to deal with these walkout protests, and Dexter High School is no exception to this. Several students at DHS are planning to participate in the scheduled national walkout protest on March 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:17 a.m. The protest lasts 17 minutes in order to honor the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. A later protest will also be occurring on April 20 at 10:00 a.m. in which students will leave school and not return until the end of the day.

Some Dexter students are participating in the protest because they believe that it will be an effective way to express their views and enact the change that they want to see, as opposed to just discussing the issue without action.

“I am participating because I feel that, to affect change, one needs to act instead of just talking about it and never getting anything done,” sophomore Kieran Grossman said.

For other students, there’s also an important moral and emotional aspect to these school protests.

“Gun laws need to change and people need to take action if they want that to happen,” senior Bri Walker said. “I think it’s also a form of respect for those who have died due to the shootings in the past.”

However, a massive protest that disrupts the school day can’t work without any regulation from the school. The Dexter Community School district administration has had several meetings amongst themselves and with students to form a defined set of rules around how teachers and students should behave during the protest on March 14.

“Mr. Koenig and Ms. Walls and I met with student leaders after school Wednesday to kinda talk about what they were intending to do,” principal Kit Moran said. “Our preference for students is going to be students that are planning to participate in the walkout will walkout over the catwalk and out the main door that way, out towards the parking lot.

“Nobody’s gonna tackle a kid and say ‘don’t go in this direction,’ but we’re gonna encourage kids to do that.”

Several high schools have discouraged students from participating in these protests, both by suspending students who attempt to participate in spontaneous walkouts and by banning these walkouts completely. These schools have received backlash for not letting students protest.

“Student protests are important,” Grossman said. “They’ve proven to be important when studying history, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t be important now.”

Fortunately, Dexter students will be able to protest and express their political stances without any disciplinary action.

“We’re in the business of education, and I think for us there are what we call ‘teachable moments,’” Moran said. “I think the administration and teachers, generally speaking, think that this is a teachable moment for kids.”

According to an email from Principal Moran, students will not be penalized for walking out as long as they are back in class before 10 a.m. Teachers will be expected to partner with another teacher, so that there is one adult to monitor the students who stay in class and the students who decide to protest.

Some teachers are offering alternative options to walking out for their students who want to acknowledge the protest without leaving school.

“I would like to try and offer my students 17 minutes of silence in class during third hour around 10 a.m.,” art teacher Krickett Luckhardt said. “I just think that is a peaceful way to give the students closure while still, you know, letting them have their voice be heard in a way that they think might be safe enough. I just feel like the students want to stay behind but still want to participate should have an option to do something.”

To ensure student safety, no one but students and staff will be allowed on DHS’s campus from 9:45-11:00 a.m.

“The reason we’re gonna encourage them to stay in this spot is that we also are planning to basically block the entrances to the high school before that happens, about 9:45,” Moran said. “We’re gonna block the teacher lot and block the two entrances on Parker so that nobody can come or go. So, nobody’s coming onto the premises, if the kids go outside they should be safe.

“The other part of that is you can’t leave the premises, so if we’re blocking it, we’re blocking it … If you have a dentist’s appointment at 10:30 or 11 o’clock, you might wanna pick your child up ahead of time, because we’re not gonna want to be having people traipse back and forth, in and out.”

While some students have concerns about walking out of school harming their chances of getting into college, many colleges and universities have issued statements saying that peacefully protesting in this manner will not affect admissions chances or current enrollment. Among local universities, this includes Western Michigan University, Alma College, Albion College, Kalamazoo College, and the University of Michigan. Students throughout history have been great agents of social change, and this generation doesn’t seem to be any different.

Oscar Recap

This year’s Academy Awards ceremony provided a fun yet predictable night of film appreciation

By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak

The 90th annual Academy Awards occured last night crowing the best Hollywood had to offer in 2017.

The Shape of Water became the night’s champion after winning four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score. Dunkirk should also be noted as it came in second with three Oscar wins: Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and  Editing. Tied for third with two Oscar wins were Blade Runner 2049, Coco, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Darkest Hour.

The most notable winners were Roger Deakins’ win for Best Cinematography after 13 previous unsuccessful nominations, Kobe Bryant winning the Oscar for his short film Dear Basketball, and Jordan Peele winning Best Original Screenplay for Get Out. Frances McDormand and Gary Oldman were both hailed as the best actors in a leading role, while Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney won Best Actors in a supporting role. While there weren’t any major surprises or upsets this year, Lady Bird didn’t receive a single award from its five nominations, shocking many.

Jimmy Kimmel gave an average job as the ceremonies host, a disappointment to his hilarious performance last year. The Moonlight fiasco from last year was an enjoyable running gag, as well as bribing winners with a Jetski to try and make acceptance speeches shorter.

The MeToo Movement and racial inclusion were focal points of the night, with moving speeches from Jordan Peele and Frances McDormand respectively.

“Get Ready,” Peele said. “You’re about to see a lot more Get Out’s, and a lot more Black Panther’s.”

Overall, it was an enjoyable ceremony, but not anything groundbreaking as expected of award show’s 90th anniversary.

DCS Deals with Potential Gun Control Protests

Dexter students may participate in protests inspired by the Parkland school shooting

by Isabella Franklin

Due to the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, students around the United States have been protesting the lack of government action in regard to gun violence. Students have been participating in protest walkouts, in which they leave school en masse and don’t return for some specified amount of time. In Dexter, some students are planning to participate in the walkouts on March 14th and April 20th, and the administration needs to decide how to handle these protests.

Superintendent Dr. Timmis has determined that, while students will be able to walk out of school and exercise their first amendment rights fully, there needs to be guidelines for how to treat these protests. On Tuesday, the 27th of February, Dexter Community Schools administrators will be discussing what official rules for teachers and students they will set up to keep these protests under control and safe.

Currently, Timmis suggests that teachers don’t participate in the spontaneous or planned protests by cheering, chanting, or holding signs, but that they impartially monitor their students who leave class and make sure the students who stay behind are supervised and safe.

DHS to Show Documentary About Technology Overuse

Screenagers addresses the issue of tech obsession in teenagers

by Isabella Franklin

The amount of technology usage and reliance, especially by teenagers, has increased rapidly in the past decade with the introduction of smartphones and tablets. In some cases, this use becomes addiction-like. This idea is explored in a documentary called Screenagers by Delaney Ruston, a Stanford physician, that deals with the use of technology in teenagers. The documentary centers around Ruston deciding whether or not to give her teenage daughter an iPhone and how parents and students can handle the overuse of technology.

Throughout the country, groups can request to host a showing of Screenagers to raise awareness about technology addiction in their communities. Dexter High School will be hosting a screening in the Center for Performing Arts on Monday, February 26th at 6:45 p.m. to address the issue in Dexter students. Anyone who wants to see the documentary can come, but the school especially encourages high school students and parents to come see the screening.