Dear Freshman me,

After four years of reflection at DHS, here is a letter of things no one mentioned before ninth grade

    By Marissa Rafail

I’ve got some things to say to you, so listen closely. For starters, high school won’t always be the nicest to you; I’ll be honest. 9th grade especially is going to be your least favorite year. The overwhelming dramatic changes will take you by storm. When you walk into the new school, you’re basically walking into a building of confusion. To top it off, there’s going to be boys and books, along with new and old friendships to deal with. Continue reading “Dear Freshman me,”

Censorship at Dexter

A look back on school dances and how they are an example of over-the-top censorship at DHS

By Andy dolen

 

Reminiscing on the past four years at DHS, I am happy with how my high school career turned out; however, the high school experience at Dexter is noticeably different than in your average high school.

Unfortunately, we live in a bubble where we are not always impacted by things that are happening around us. This impacts the way students and their parents think a normal high school should function. Continue reading “Censorship at Dexter”

Remember Avatar?

The majority of DHS students barely remember the highest-grossing film of all time

by megan sarns

As far as movies go, it’s the age of the blockbuster. These high budget and highly anticipated films seldom make an appearance on Academy Award rosters, but they rake in millions of dollars and take the cinema world by storm. Franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (i.e. The Avengers and Captain America) lead the pack with several of the highest grossing films in history.

But the highest grossing film of all time doesn’t feature superheroes or an intergalactic battle against the Dark Side or Vin Diesel street racing through Los Angeles –– because even those movies are still making money somehow. Raking in approximately $2.8 billion at the box office, Avatar is the most successful movie of all time.

Continue reading “Remember Avatar?”

Just Dance

Be in the spotlight, bust out the worm, or ask her if she wants to slow dance with you. Who cares? You do you.

BY RACHEL WITTENBERG

What happened to Footloose and Grease Lightening where dancing was the highlight of the night? Where the girl is waiting for the blue eyed boy in the bow tie and suspenders to ask her to dance.

I know there are many reasons why youngins don’t get down and boogie at school dances nowadays. For some, it is the teachers staring down at their every move waiting to pounce at the first sign of dry humping on a gym floor. Or maybe it’s the fact that the lights are brighter than they are on a normal school day. Or, the music isn’t “club” like, enough. Continue reading “Just Dance”

Letter From The Editor – Claire Ward

After a year of cramming to meet deadlines and proof-reading countless articles, this liberal feminist is moving away from DHS, and from being The Squall’s Editor-in-Chief.

BY Claire Ward

This may be the most anticipated and most hated article I’ve ever written. Oh well, here goes.

I’ve spent nine months as Editor-in-Chief of The Squall, and man has it been a wild ride. From people telling me I’m trying to push my liberal agenda on the school, to having a good portion of the freshman male population hate me because I’m “bossy” and talk about periods.

It’s been fun.

Now, this school finally gets a break from my feminist rants and corrective terminology. No more having to read articles about how white privilege is a big issue in this school, or that dress codes are sexist.

There’s one last thing I have to do before I leave, though.

This one goes out to everyone who read my articles and agreed with them. Who was grateful someone was finally saying there’s nothing wrong with menstruation, who liked it when someone wasn’t afraid to call out others for ignoring the Black Lives Matter protests and deaths of protesters.

To everyone who is glad I wasn’t afraid to stand up to my own beliefs; this article is for you.

Feminism isn’t an odd concept. It isn’t hard to agree with (yet many people still struggle to agree), nor is it impossible to achieve. Equality of all people in terms of social, political, and economic factors is a reasonable request. For some reason, we have to fight for it. And that’s what we need to continue doing, fighting.

People may not agree with me on all topics, but I think everyone can agree with me on one thing: I’ve sparked conversation here at Dexter High School. Whether good or bad, people have been talking about my articles and topics I’ve discussed. A feminist fire has been lit, and it’s up to everyone staying in this school to keep it that way.

All you feminists out there, stand up for your beliefs. Don’t be afraid to tell someone they’ve got an idea wrong, or that the comment they made was inaccurate or harmful.

All you who don’t want to label yourself as feminist, whether because there’s a stigma around the word or because a few people have soiled the word for you, stand up for your beliefs. Don’t let the fear of repercussions hold yourself back from actively vocalizing for equality of others.

All you who don’t label yourself as a feminist because you don’t believe in feminism, keep doing what you’re doing. There’s just one thing I encourage you to do: look into why others are fighting. Explore reasons behind why feminism is a relevant need in our society. Open yourself up to other viewpoints, and reconsider your own.

So, that’s it. After nine months as active Editor-in-Chief, I leave knowing I’ve left a lasting mark on our school and a good portion in it. It’s up to everyone else to keeping acting on it and make sure it resonates for a long time.

ALFK – Own Up To It.

It’s time to stop getting upset at human rights, and start fighting for them.

By Claire Ward

My last article discussing the Black Lives Matter movement and racism towards the African American community, received quite a bit of backlash. People threw my article in urinals (for aiming practice, I believe – but I hope if you’re in high school you don’t need help with that anymore), balled them up and threw them at my younger sister, tossed them on the ground, and broke out into “All Lives Matter” chants in their classrooms. Honestly, I find this very interesting. Why is it so hard for Dexter High School to hear it has a race problem? We say it all the time; Dexter’s lack of diversity has become a long running joke. So, why does such a large problem arise when it’s in print?

Hearing things that call out unknown, or unacknowledged, privileges can make us uncomfortable or angry. We like to believe that we’re all good people, doing the best we can. Or, at least, that we aren’t disregarding entire groups of people. So, when some dumb 18-year-old girl comes in and tells you you’re ignoring serious social issues, we tend to get upset. This anger can be justified by one simple line: “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

When others ask us to acknowledge privilege, we start to feel guilty. The word “privilege” has connotations of guilt in our society. People feel as though they are being blamed for the privilege they have. The truth is, we can’t control privilege. We can’t control having it, or being a part of a privileged group or community. There shouldn’t be blame behind it. Yet, there is, and we still tend to feel this way.

Why exactly do we feel this way? Why does privilege sound synonymous to guilt? A lot of it has to do with age-old stigma. Classical conditioning has led us to associate privilege with the upper-class royalty who treated people poorly (think Marie Antoinette). But, privilege is more than just being born into the uppermost class. This guilt we feel is outdated, and something we need to surpass as a whole society.

But the backlash towards my BLM article wasn’t just about privilege. It was also about an inability to deal with the idea that we may not be as good of humans as we think we are.

Many of us believe that we aren’t doing any bad, that we stay out of other drama, and don’t contribute to the troubles of others. Here’s the thing: doing nothing is exactly that. You aren’t helping or hurting anyone, so you aren’t doing anything. Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,” and it explains things pretty well. I said that we have a race problem in our country; the incarcerated population is almost half black, while only 13 percent of the American population is black, and people got upset. Because how could you have anything to do with putting people in jail? We’re just high school students completely separated from these situations.

Here’s a question for you: is the race problem in Dexter a reflection of the race problem in the US? The way we address race here is similar to the rest of the country: dismissal. Racist comments are said every day, but instead of addressing them we brush them off and ignore the fact that people here joke about being black (when we are so white). Our race problem isn’t just a race problem, it’s a social injustice problem that stretches across such a wide range of topics that is not limited to race or gender.

We don’t really make an attempt to fight against the injustice. We just sit on the outside, choosing to ignore the many faces of police brutality, or women in the global sex trade, or the biggest starvation crisis since 1945 going on in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and northeast Nigeria.

So, when some dumb high school feminist tells us we’re adding to the problem, we get upset. We stand isolated in our little community, watching as outsiders who may think they can’t do anything. Or, maybe you just really don’t care about it and listening to someone who does care annoys you. Or, maybe you do feel this guilt in knowing you have privilege, and you’d rather ignore that rather than face it (if not guilt, then maybe white fragility). The fact is it doesn’t matter how you feel. I won’t stop fighting for what I believe, and it’s time other people take a stand for themselves, too. We, as a society, can’t stop this feeling of guilt alone, nor can we stop child labor, rape culture, or violence against the LGBTQ+ community.

It’s time to stop the little pity parties of ‘Oh my god, she’s so annoying. No one cares about this. This is bull. She hates police, and BLM is a terrorist movement’ (it’s not). It’s time to step up, acknowledge problems facing our world, and start working in aid towards them.

How to: Politics

A complete guide explaining how to navigate yourself through politics at DHS

By Tyler Valentine

Politics have been a sensitive topic of conversation at DHS recently. There are people whose new trigger word is Trump, and other people that will take the excitement of him winning the election to their grave. It seems as if people are having trouble sharing their opinion without offending others or just taking it to unnecessary extremes. If we can all follow these three simple steps, our school will become a much more enjoyable place to be, and we could bring social media back to better times

Step 1: Sharing your opinion

Liberals:

Guys, we get it, Hillary lost, our country is doomed and the world is more likely than not going to burst into flames. Seriously though… it’s been two months. It’s time to get over it and accept, despite your hashtags, Donald Trump is your president. People want to hear you cry about that just as much as you want to hear people celebrating about Trump

Conservatives:

Congratulations, Donald Trump has won the election and is now the most powerful man in the world. We are all very aware of this. So, just like the Hillary supporters, feel free to stop celebrating anytime now. How would you feel if Hillary had won and her supporters were still talking about

Step 2: Social media

Liberals:

The best way to go about politics on social media is to just keep the two completely seperate. I’m sorry to break it to you, but seeing someone tweet things such as “#NotMyPresident” annoys the majority of your followers just as much as when you see someone retweeting Cloyd Rivers.

Conservatives:

Now I’m not totally against the Cloyd Rivers account. Some of it is positive things about veterans that nobody minds reading. It’s seeing my timeline full of Cloyd Rivers that angers me. Don’t play dumb. We all know the difference between good tweets and ones meant to piss someone off.

Step 3: Accepting other opinions

Liberals:

Remember the Golden Rule? One of the first things we were taught way back in kindergarten? Well, if not, it stated: “Treat others how you wish to be treated.” I’m sorry to say it, but the liberals seem to be the ones that are the least accepting of political opinions. I know they’re always preaching about how we all should be accepting of race, religion, etc. yet continue to ridicule conservatives for what they believe in. I may be wrong, but that seems pretty hypocritical to me.

Conservatives:

Conservatives, don’t think you’re off the hook with the whole Golden Rule idea. I see how you try to play victim for the liberals judging you based on your opinion, yet you do the same thing. In the end, we are all the same, judgemental people with views that slightly differ from one another. So how about instead of criticizing each other we look at ourselves first.

We all just need to take a deep breath and chill on the politics, both on social media and just in general. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I would like nothing more than to have a politics-free social media and school environment. Let’s all just be more accepting of each other’s beliefs and maybe take a second to see them for more than just their face value. If you think you’re right and anybody that doesn’t think exactly like you is wrong, please, for the well-being of everyone around you, keep it to yourself.

Pizza, Nosebleeds, Chaos

Then seventh graders, two editors remember how a 5:15 greenish sky distruped the calm, forever impacting their lives

by Caden Koenig and Nick LeBlanc

Caden Koenig:

Remembering back, as a seventh grader all the days seem like a blur. As a seventh grader the experiences of the whole year feel like one memory. This is with the exception of March 15th and the few days that followed it.

The day started as an average Michigan day: 70 degrees and sunny… in March. All morning, the weather was celebrated with T-shirts and shorts. It was a fantastic surprise considering the prior days were 40 degrees at the most.

Now, like I said, most of my memories blur as just being an average day and so was the beginning of this day. In fact, I even remember walking home with friends.

It was about 3:30 pm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The day slowly progressed with my friends, and I was likely playing basketball or football outside.

Around 4:30 the clouds quickly started to roll in and the sky got darker and darker.  My parents had ordered Jets pizza for dinner.

We planned to eat on our patio in our backyard. By the time my dad went to get the pizza, 10 minutes later, the Severe Weather Warning Alert blared through the television. Immediately following, the tornado siren from the village started echoing.

At about 5:15, the sky was a green tint, the thunder was loud, the lightning lit up the sky with every strike, and my dad and I were eating Jet’s on the porch. However, this did not last long due to a mix of the uncomfortably high wind speeds, and my mom freaking out about us being outside. So, we rushed to the basement with our candles, flash lights, and pizza due to the power outage.

By 6:00, it was over. The shock set in almost instantly. The roads were flooded. Trees were uprooted. Clothes, rugs, and furniture lay throughout the neighborhood. My family and I sat on our porch for hours unsure what to do.

I had always looked up to my parents when I didn’t know what to do, but at this moment it seemed like nobody knew how to act.  It seemed surreal, not only that night but the days that followed as well.

Nick LeBlanc:

Calm. The sky, the temperature, the people.  All was calm. The birds chirped welcomingly till it became a normality to the ear. The pleasantly curious warm air tiptoed through the trees and reached as the breeze caressed human skin. Kids walked and played as the seductive nature lured kids to embrace the day.

I took my time on the walk home that day.  Fully indulging in the surprising beauty of the day. Even the sight of my colleague, Caden Koenig, leaking blood from his nasal cavity wasn’t enough to take away from the grace of the day. Besides the spontaneous nose bleed and the warm winter day (yes, March 15th is still considered winter), the day was normal.

After my arrival home, things settled down as I waited for my father to return home to take me to baseball practice. That’s when the peace of the day began to change. Seemingly out of nowhere, an overcast of distasteful clouds took to the sky.  The welcomingly chirp of the birds was halted.  Kids went back inside as a brigade of dark clouds approached from the distance.

Being a curious kid, I was constantly checking the sky behind my deck.  As per usual, when a storm was in sight, I made constant, annoying suggestions claiming there was a tornado.  As cliché as it sounds, I was actually right for once.

The wall of wind was in the distance, but since I knew the approximate travel of the storm, I felt the urgency to tell my brother and father. While my brother and I decided the best idea was to run into the basement, my father thought the best idea was to inspect the tornado from up close. After realizing that the cone of wind was indeed a tornado and in our neighborhood, he finally came to the conclusion that maybe he should be in the basement.

We looked out the windows in the basement and all we saw was the gray of the storm. We heard the wind rushing against the house and the hail bombarding the siding. Eventually a tree fell and blocked our view of everything, even the ominous gray color.

The sun came out. It seemed calm again, but after the shock dissipated, it was clear that nothing was calm. My friends and I decided to walk the neighborhood.  Police, people, and the remnants of destroyed houses were a common sight around evry block.

The calm scene that was set earlier was gone. The new scene had rolled in: chaos.

The Warm Weather Problem

Winter temperatures reach record highs in Michigan, but residents should fear its implications of severe climate change

By Tessa Kipke

 

First things first: I hate winter. Truly, I do. In the dead of winter in Michigan, when the sun is a mere distant memory, and the cold is so deep, so complete, that it burrows into your fingertips, toes, and ears, threatening to numb them forever, I find solace in daydreaming about the beach, about green grass and leaves on trees and leaving the house without 20 layers on.
When the first hints of spring come after long months of ferocious cold, it’s like the world is finally waking up. It’s exhilarating and makes me remember that there are parts of Michigan weather that aren’t torturous. However, the winter of early 2017 was different. It was slightly anticlimactic, as though the world had tensed up for a hard blow that just never came.
In the fall, I had been dreading winter, as always, but then November rolled around and the weather barely shifted. In fact, the last two days of November 2016 reached nearly 60 degrees, which, for someone native to Michigan, barely warrants a light jacket. December and January got a bit cooler – we even got a few snow days – but the winter never reached the frigid magnitude of my memory. There was even a day in December that was over 50 degrees, which is practically unheard of. Now, in February and March, when winter traditionally begins fade away very, very slowly, spring seems to already have sprung. The high in February of 2017 was 45.2 degrees; the normal high is only 35.
All of this culminates in the fact that creeping shift of global climate change is starting to feel less sluggish. We can feel it, in the air and on our skin, and it feels real. But it’s also easy to be conflicted because, living in Michigan, where we’re accustomed to lengthy, brutal winters, this feels like a reprieve. The thought of warmer winters in coming years is welcome, even celebrated. Being able to go outside during the winter months and not want to immediately die is kind of great.
But the greater implications are far from positive. As the global climate increases, our polar ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and other natural disasters increase in frequency and intensity. In the past, these consequences seemed like a worrisome-but-distant threat, but now they hit a little too close to home. Ecosystems worldwide are shifting, unsure how to react to an unprecedented wave of heat, and humans are not excluded. We don’t quite know what to do with ourselves in a world transforming like never before.
A couple of weeks ago, a weekend in mid-February hit 68 degrees (the average normal temperature in February is 27 degrees) and scores of people fled outdoors to enjoy the warmth. Instagram pictures and Snapchat stories were filled with views from picnics and park benches, showing people gleefully donning sunglasses and short sleeves. It was wonderful and terrifying.
I love warm weather, but I don’t love the unnatural reality that’s been causing it lately. I don’t think we need to actively feel guilty about liking this early spring, but it’s imperative that we’re aware of the changing world around us. Though gentler weather is unbelievably nice, we must understand the underlying consequences of climate change.

ALFK: Tackling Privilege

Tackling Privilege

By Claire Ward

Privilege

[privuh-lij, priv-lij]

noun: a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most

 

Chances are, you know the word “privilege” first hand. The social theory that certain advantages and special rights are only available to a particular group. Most of us at Dexter High School can point out the many privileges present in our lives every day, the many privileged groups we belong in. We live in a relatively wealthy community, with an almost completely white population, filled with a common and accepted religion. Rich privilege, white privilege, religious privilege. We are blessed to live lives that grant us these privileges. Unfortunately, many people choose to deny or ignore their privileges when the power status they’re given puts them in a place to benefit others. Maybe we all need to figure out how to use our privilege to the advantage of others, not just to help out ourselves. Here’s a little privilege check for you:

Continue reading “ALFK: Tackling Privilege”