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.