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.

Continue reading “United They Stand”

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.

DHS begins using a buzz-in system

By kira perry & rachel wittenberg

Around two years ago, Dexter Community Schools was given a $500,000 dollar grant to install a buzz-in security system in the six of its buildings, Assistant Principal Ken Koenig said.  

However, not every building used this security system as was originally intended.  Bates Elementary School has been using it for a while, said Stacey Wing, Dexter High School’s secretary.

DHS, however, started using the buzz-in system last Thursday after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting happened in Parkland, Florida.  After this tragedy on the February 14, the county superintendent sent out an email about school safety.  That is when the high school decided to start using the buzz-in system.

“I probably buzz in about 50 people a day,” said Wing, who keeps the camera and button on her desk. Wing also said DHS will be getting another camera and button to put on another secretary’s desk.

An administrative meeting will take place on Tuesday where school safety will be a main topic of discussion, Koenig said.

News Briefs

The biggest local, national, and international news stories from the past month

DHS Blood Drive

By Finnegan Bell

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, the American Red Cross is holding a blood drive at Dexter High School. Every three seconds in the US, a patient needs a pint of blood. Due to issues such as winter weather conditions and flu season, blood supplies across the nation are getting dangerously low. The Red Cross urges all students to donate blood to help with this problem. Optionally, students can download the Red Cross Blood Donor app to receive rewards for blood donations.

Continue reading “News Briefs”

Bond The Builder

Dexter begins improvements to school campuses with passage of $71.7 million bond

By Alisha Birchmeier

As trees are cut down and the ground is chopped up, emotions are flooding the Dexter community. Between angry parents voicing their opinions and the mixed emotions of students, the bond has become the center of conversation in the community.

The original plan was to clear twenty acres of trees to place the two fields; however when looking at the placing and size of the fields only seven or eight acres needed to be cut down. While there is a rumor that all of the trees will be replanted, that’s not true; only some of them will be. Healthy new trees will be placed along the roadside to block the fields’ view from the road. Continue reading “Bond The Builder”

News Briefs

The biggest local, national, and international news stories from the past month

by Isabella Franklin

Hollywood Sexual Assault Allegations


Harvey Weinstein and other public figures, such as Bill O’Reilly, Louis C.K., George Takei, and Kevin Spacey, have come under fire due to many accusations of sexual assault recently. An equal, if not larger, number of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terry Crews, and Anthony Rapp, have publicly opened up about their personal experience with sexual harassment and abuse. A movement called “#MeToo” has sprung up across social media as a platform for assault victims to share their stories and show how common these horrible experiences may be.

Amazon Announces New Service

Amazon has announced a new service called “Amazon Key,” in which customers may sign up to allow Amazon mail couriers to come into their homes to drop off packages. The concept is intended to reduce the number of packages stolen outside homes, but Amazon buyers are concerned about the irony of the product; allowing a stranger into your home so you can avoid theft has raised many questions about this product. In addition, many customers have brought up safety concerns about Amazon Key.

Catalonia Separates from Spain

Catalonia, a region of Spain whose capital is Barcelona, has declared independence from the country of Spain by an illegal referendum from the Catalan people. The parliament in Catalonia passed a motion to officially declare independence on October 27. The Catalan government and people believe that they deserve to be their own country as they are financially independent from Spain, culturally separate from Spain, and speak Catalan, an entirely different language than the majority of Spain speaks. The Spanish government is not letting Catalonia go without a fight, bringing police forces to keep protests for Catalan independence at bay.

Shield Road Re-Opens

Shield Road, which has been closed since June 12 of this year, re-opened on October 31, 2017 for public use. Between Parker Road and Baker Road, the road had a very high amount of daily traffic by students coming to and from Dexter High School, along with Dexter residents who live nearby who use it to cut through town. The road’s closure resulted in an inconvenience for many people due to traffic backups and having to take detours through town, so the bridge’s upgrade and re-opening has been a source of relief for Dexter’s residents.

Vehicular Attack in Lower Manhattan


There was a violent attack in Manhattan by a 29-year-old man on October 31, 2017. The attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, drove his pickup truck on a Hudson River bike path, killing eight people and injuring 11 more. Of the victims who died, five were Argentine tourists celebrating a school reunion, and another victim was identified as Belgian. Saipov was shot by police when he left his car after crashing into a school bus. He is currently alive in custody.

Michigan Considers Bill for Concealed Carry in Schools

On November 8, Michigan’s Senate passed a bill that allows concealed carry of firearms in former gun-free zones, such as schools, churches, hospitals, and daycares. Gun owners who take 8 hours of extra training will be allowed to carry concealed pistols in these areas. The bill still needs to go through the House of Representatives to determine if it will be enacted, which will happen after Thanksgiving. Many people were shocked and upset by the Senate’s decision, as the bill’s approval came only three days after a mass shooting in a Texas church that left 26 dead.

News Briefs

The biggest local, national, and international news stories from the past month

by Isabella Franklin

Craig McCalla Named Outstanding Practicing Principal of 2017

Every year, Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, or MEMSPA, presents the Outstanding Practicing Principal award to only one principal in the state. The winner for 2017 is Craig McCalla, the principal of Cornerstone Elementary School. McCalla was chosen for his leadership capabilities and respect of all students, along with his awareness of issues among students. In his nomination for the award, DCS Executive Director of Instruction Mollie Sharrar wrote: “Mr. McCalla is an advocate for all students and is a leader in Michigan for transgender students and social justice awareness in schools.” Former MEMSPA president Tom DeGraaf described McCalla as someone who has not only contributed to Cornerstone, but to the education community at large.

Continue reading “News Briefs”