Guns: Do Something

By Joe Ramey

Recently, progression has been a hard idea to grasp. The laws surrounding the use and acquisition of firearms in the United States are clear, yet the second amendment itself is outdated and riddled with grey areas. With recent tragedies in mind, reform is essential now more than ever.

Though the Bill of Rights states that every United States citizen has the right to own a firearm, that does not mean that all legal guns are comparable in way of caliber and potential damage. The right to bear arms grants U.S citizens the ability to purchase and lawfully use firearms. This right is highly debated because it makes the purchasing of deadly weapons easier.

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We Voted it, We Got it

The heat directed at the school’s new athletic development simply isn’t justified

By Tate evans

When DHS students walked into the school after winter break, many of them were surprised about what had happened to the school’s skyline. While plenty had heard of the bond and how we were getting new sinks, it was apparently so long ago that everyone forgot about the new developments being built right next door. Surprised and feeling not consulted, some people understandably disagreed with the school’s decision to chop down a section of forest near the parking lots to make way for the football fields. In fact, some questioned even the reasoning as to why the school even needed new sporting fields in the first place.

All those concerns are fine and well, of course, and it’s the responsibility of every student to be knowledgeable and concerned about the impact we’re having on the environment around us. Keeping this in mind, however, there is a clear difference between un-notified, sloppy action and thought out, responsible planning, with the latter of which being exactly what we got after winter break.

Let’s start at the beginning. Many months ago, those with the power to kill or move forward on this bond were given quite clear knowledge of what exactly they were voting on. Besides being told in writing of the planned development, they were even shown an artist’s rendering of what the school would look like with the new sports fields, with the area depicted covering the spot where development is occurring today. It’s quite difficult to make the argument that nobody knew when those who cared enough about the bond to show up to the vote were provided with more than adequate materials detailing the proposed changes. At the end of the day, it’s fair to question if we needed the fields, but to question the validity and say no one was told is misleading at best.

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Social Media’s Flaw

Unfortunately, social networking has begun
to divide us more than unite us

By Jimmy Fortuna-Peak

It’s everywhere. No matter where you go, what you do, or who you talk to, the craze of social media is there to follow you. Programs like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat were originally meant to help bring people closer together, but as these sites have grown, they have begun to tear their user’s personal relationships apart.  Continue reading “Social Media’s Flaw”

What Is Free Speech?

Despite being one of the most talked about topics in the news today, free speech is only being used as a buzzword

by Isabella Franklin

“You also had some very fine people on both sides,” said President Trump on August 15.

Though it may sound like he’s discussing the results of a close football game, he’s discussing Charlottesville protesters who chanted Neo-Nazi phrases such as “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us” while carrying torches. Why wouldn’t joining a group of Neo-Nazis disqualify you as a very fine person, or even an acceptable American? How is Neo-Nazi speech okay in the United States?

Free speech is an incessantly discussed topic in the news, but the discussion never progresses. The phrase “free speech” has been thrown around so much that it’s become a useless buzzword to raise attention and alarm. In reality, the definition of free speech is fairly convoluted.

The first amendment was created to allow citizens to speak against the government with no punishment. This is called political speech, and it’s the only fully protected type of speech. The congressional definition of speech includes symbolic speech, such as physical actions and displaying symbols.

The amendment doesn’t protect all forms of speech, however. Speech is prohibited and can be regulated if it’s considered defamation, fighting words, threats, or similar. Anything that isn’t unprotected speech or political speech is a gray area. Generally, as long as it isn’t unprotected speech, anything goes.

Now, that doesn’t always apply. Students are legally subject to their school’s rules. If school policy bans a type of speech and it disrupts school, then the school can shut it down. The same goes for platforms such as radio stations or ads, and private organizations; the government or organization may shut down what it deems offensive.

DHS’s code of conduct says that students cannot disrespect the civil rights of others, cause a disruption, display things intended to be offensive, be discriminatory, and must obey the law at all times. For an example of how this applies, if you were here last year the day after Trump was elected president, you might remember kids chanting “repeal the 19th amendment” (women’s voting rights) in the halls, along with making otherwise stupid comments. While they may have been joking, it heavily violates DHS policy. Free speech doesn’t protect being an asshole.

So, what does the Constitution have to say about arguments involving free speech?

One dead horse that the media continues to beat is NFL players kneeling for the anthem. Kaepernick’s choice to kneel is the embodiment of symbolic political speech. He couldn’t be in a more respectful position, especially considering that army veteran Nate Boyer originally suggested that position to respect fallen soldiers. The flag code doesn’t say you have to stand, and it wouldn’t override freedom of speech even if it did. People need to either focus on the significance of kneeling or stop talking about it, because nothing is being accomplished.

Something that doesn’t fall so neatly into protected speech is Trump’s constant flow of insults. One of many cases of this defamation is him accusing women suing him for assault of lying. His attorney is defending him by saying that calling them liars is political speech. If “political speech” means “any comment on anything that involves the law,” then sure. Otherwise, this was just a characteristically ineloquent and non-political ad hominem attack.

This brings us back to the idea that Neo-Nazis have fine people among them. They went on a liberal campus, shouting inflammatory phrases to cause tension, anger, fear, and, ultimately, violence: the exact definition of fighting words. Their actions shouldn’t be supported by any American who believes in the Constitution’s establishment of our rights. Yet, people still choose to focus on some NFL players rather than real issues.

America is, at least in concept, founded on respect and liberty. Freedom of expression was established so that anyone could safely practice whichever religion they wanted, fight for whichever causes they believed in, and more; it wasn’t established so that people could denigrate others for their own gain. Americans have yet to live up to the potential for equality and unity that our government set up for us.

How can Americans call people exercising their right to free speech to peacefully protest un-American while arguing in favor for giving people as disgusting and un-American as Neo-Nazis a platform?

Religious Holidays

Despite more than 60% of students practicing Christianity, DHS should consider minority religions’ holidays

By tess alekseev

“Imagine if Christmas didn’t fall into winter break. People would be outraged,” sophomore Aden Angus said when asked how not getting Jewish holidays off affects him.

It seems unrealistic (because it is), but, just for fun, imagine if it didn’t. Imagine the number of students that would miss school on Christmas, Easter, or other major Christian holidays. In Dexter, it would be a ridiculously large number, easily large enough to cancel school.

So why is it not the same for Jewish and Muslim students?

The answer, of course, is that there isn’t a large amount of those students, at least not enough to disrsupt the overall school day. However, it disrupts the school day of those affected in a major way.

So, how do we fix that?

It seems easy: promote awareness of religious holidays amongst the staff and students. The problem lies in how the school would go about it.

Schools in Ann Arbor utilise a three-star, two-star, one-star model, which dictates importance of the holiday in question.

Three stars denote a major holiday, and teachers may not schedule exams, reviews for exams, tryouts, or dances on those days. Two stars indicate other significant holidays, and students absent during these days are treated as if they had been out sick. One star holidays have no restrictions.

DHS Principal Kit Moran said he encourages his staff to be aware of non-Christian religious holidays, but since Dexter isn’t religiously diverse, it is “fair and reasonable to not know [the holidays]. The star model used by Ann Arbor is admirable, and a good model, but not the right path for Dexter.

“I don’t think there’s been enough need to generate change, but if it were to become a big enough issue to disrupt the school day, we would have to tend to that.”

English teacher Alexander Heidtke is in support of awareness and respect for religious holidays, and their observer’s absence due to them.

“Finding a way to incorporate the non-Christian religious holidays based on inclusiveness, respect, and, at least, awareness, it’s the next step,” he said. “If people know they exist and respect them, then we move forward, in terms of coexisting … It’s hard to bring anything up without offending someone, but sometimes it’s so monumental that you have to offend someone in order to do the right thing.”

It isn’t only hard to move past the prejudice in the school. Another obstacle is the bureaucracy involved in setting up a policy of awareness and respect.

“It’s hard, because religion isn’t commonly brought up, and in Dexter, it isn’t diverse,” history teacher Kevin Cislo said. “It’s easy enough on an individual basis, but a policy is hard because it requires administrative action.”

Yasmin Segev, a DHS senior, is a student who has been negatively affected by the lack of awareness.

“Something I remember, I don’t think it happened this year, but in previous years, was marching band rehearsal landing on the first eve of Rosh Hashanah,” she said. “Rehearsals go from 7:30 to 9 p.m., so it took up the entire eve, and I didn’t get to celebrate with my family.”

When asked about her opinion on collisions between school and religious holiday observance, Segev had a few suggestions for the administration.

“I think that students should be allowed an extension on homework and to not go to after school events, without consequence, if there’s a major holiday for a major religion besides Christianity, at the least,” she said. “A better solution would be not allowing major events to be planned for major holidays in the first place, though.”

Religion in DHS, of 63 students surveyed.

New Year, Same Football?

After another 0-9 season did Coach Jacobs really make any changes to the football program?

By Kellen Porter

Last year, Coach Koenig was let go after going 1-35 in four years giving Dexter football the worst losing streak of all of the high school football programs in Michigan.

Coach Phil Jacobs was hired to be a motivator and rebuild Dexter to its former glory, he was working the kids extra hard in the weight room and on the field, making sure that the team would be ready for those close games in the fourth quarter and have the energy to pull out the win. Unfortunately, there were no close fourth quarters as the team went 0-9 for the fourth season in a row.

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Save the Women

The real problem with the ‘Save The Boobs’ slogan

By tess alekseev

This month, you’re likely to see slogans like: “I Stare Because I Care” and “Save The Boobs!” While, yes, the messages are well-intentioned and (seemingly) very pro-feminist, the harsh reality is that these slogans only serve to make women affected by breast cancer feel even more isolated.

Why do the slogans have to focus so much on the breast, and not the woman? The fact is, most affected women have to undergo mastectomies, or breast removals, to get rid of the cancer. In order to save the woman herself from cancer, the breasts have to be sacrificed.

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Death By Name, Death By Nature

Autumn mushrooms to watch out for

by tess alekseev

If you’ve ever gone on a walk in autumn, you’ve almost definitely seen a mushroom or two popping up from the ground. You were also probably told that you were not to pick, and certainly not to eat, any of the mushrooms you found — they’re poisonous! But what if they weren’t?

While, yes, some mushrooms are poisonous, they make up a small percentage of the species, and they’re relatively easy to identify.

Whether you’re interested in mycology (the study of mushrooms) or just a curious adventurer, knowing how to identify common poisonous mushrooms is a skill that could save your life in a pinch! Continue reading “Death By Name, Death By Nature”

Growing Pains

A look at freshmen growing into their high school lives

By Mitchell Sterlitz

Everyone’s gone through it at least once. The unfortunate few, a couple of times. Most people can agree that freshman year of high school is usually an ugly duckling phase.

Transitioning from being the big fish at the middle school pond to bottom feeders clinging to the walls in high school, just hoping to make it to their sophomore year.

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