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.

 

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:

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Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations on being elected as the leader of the United States of America. You are now the most powerful man in the world, and with that power comes much responsibility. You truly do have the ability to do good things if you choose.

My name is Alex Strang. I am from Dexter, Michigan, a small town seven miles outside of Ann Arbor. I have moderate conservative views, but I try to remain unbiased. I think for myself and believe that it’s best to not let a political party influence my views. I am only an 18-year old senior in high school, and nowhere near an expert on politics.

Your focus on national security will benefit Americans by making this country safer. The safety of every American citizen is important no matter race or gender. I support you to continue to improve the national security of this country, just as President Obama did. I come from a law enforcement and military family, so I agree with your strong support of them. At a time like this, it is important that the public and law enforcement work together to create healthier relationships. I believe people need to realize the police are not bad the guys and they are just doing their job.

Your “America First” ideology has the potential to benefit our country with trade deals and a foreign policy that puts our country first.

But, Mr. President, a true “America First” policy means protecting all Americans, especially at a time like this where millions feel threatened, specifically women. They are equally as important as the men in this country. This is the United States of America, not the Middle East.

You say you want to eliminate ISIS, which I am all for, but by attempting to take away a woman’s reproductive rights, aren’t we beginning to stoop to their level? A level where schools are blown up to scare women from attending them to get an education equal to men. A level where people are killed to keep women from voting.

We are better than that. This country does not follow Sharia Law. In this country, women are recognized as just as faithful and intelligent as males, constitutionally they share equal rights with males, every girl goes to school here. This is not the case in every country. So, why threaten their rights when those rights in question do not have any effect on you or any other male politician?

A true America First policy means standing up for women, supporting their rights, and protecting them, not putting them down or trying to take away their reproductive rights. If you or other people are pro-life, then I respect that. I also respect the woman’s decision to make that choice herself. As a man, I cannot make that choice, nor should any male politician regardless of government position or political affiliation. You, and others with the same belief, can exercise that belief simply by not having an abortion.

Today in America, a woman can serve in most jobs in the military, while in the Middle East, they are put down, beaten, and sexually assaulted with no punishment for the men who commit these acts. These are the same countries where we send American troops. We cannot stoop to this level especially with how far we have come in this nation. A nation where a woman has equal say in elections, government positions, and marriage, as she should.

Women in this country are afraid. That should not be a problem. Ever. No matter what. Every American citizen should be proud to call the United States home, just as I am. They should not have to worry about already established rights being taken away because of an administration’s beliefs.

I know the media takes many things out of context and blows things out of proportion, but this is not something that is being made up by the media. Threatening to defund Planned Parenthood or attempting to take away a woman’s right to have a child is threatening the rights of a woman.

Mr. President, if an “America First” policy means stricter border control, then it also has to mean stricter environmental regulations. Why regulate our borders when the environment all around us is changing for the worse? No matter what political party you associate with, you have to recognize climate change is real.

We cannot afford to hurt this earth anymore. Just like all of our American citizens, we have to protect and stand up for planet earth. Further destroying the earth for monetary gain may seem worth it for big businesses on the short term level, but those CEOs and executives who want fewer EPA restrictions will one day have children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who have to live in a world where the climate is worsened because of their greed.

When I graduate from college, I want to one day serve my country and lead soldiers in the Army for this nation. I am willing to serve this country with everything I have and protect the freedoms that have been set forth by our founding fathers. What I do not want to see is our country fall apart due to a division of race, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

I do not want my future wife to be worrying about attempts to revoke a right that was ruled constitutional in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court. I do not want my future wife to feel put down by the words and actions of the President. I don’t want her to feel threatened by a man or a congress whom she has never met, the same way I don’t want her to feel threatened by terrorists or criminals. I don’t want my future daughter to feel as though her rights are threatened. I want my future kids to be able to play outside in air that is fresh and free of pollution. I want my future family to be able to experience the activities of all four seasons from skiing in the winter to swimming in clean water in the summer.

If we are going to have a true “America First” policy, we need to be committed, not just part way, not just the parts that one political party wants, but fully committed. That includes protecting women’s rights and protecting this planet we call home.

You will not see me in the streets protesting, but if so many people feel threatened that they need to take such a strong stance, then something needs to change. Nor will you hear me saying “not my president,” because I understand, Sir, you are the President. You are the Commander’ n Chief of the free world.

You have the power to do many things. This country needs more than ever to come together, which will take effort and compromise from all political parties and people from all walks of life.

All Americans, every single one, need to come together to truly make a country that is currently more divided than ever, “Great Again,” and it begins with you, Mr. President.

Let’s begin the process of uniting this country, and truly putting all Americans first before yourself.

Respectfully,

Alexander Strang

Valentine’s Day Horoscopes

Predicting your February love life with the characteristics of your zodiac sign

By Julia Bell and Megan Sarns

Aries: Communication is your key to relationship success this month, or it could be your downfall. If you’re in a relationship, a misunderstanding is on the horizon, so word your thoughts carefully (and make sure your spellcheck is on!) If you’re single this month, the relationship you’ve been pursuing may not be as out of reach as you think, but subtlety will prove unsuccessful. We’re talking grand gestures. Blimps are probably the way to go. Most compatible sign: Libra

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Being Transgender at DHS

2016 graduate Marcus Maier shares his experiences of coming out as transgender during his senior year at DHS

By Megan Sarns

In our October issue, we published an article about the fight for transgender equity at Dexter High School and efforts to make Dexter Community Schools safer for everyone. In continuation of that piece, Marcus Maier, who graduated from DHS in 2016, wanted to come forward and share his personal story.

“Ever since I was younger, I always told people I wished I was born male,” Maier said. “When people say it’s not a choice, it’s really not a choice. It’s just there.”

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Sport Specialization

Playing only one sport might not give you the athletic performance you are hoping to have

By Alex Strang

Many athletes only play one sport in their later years of high school, but if they want to take their athletics to the next level, that might not be the best option. It also causes overuse injuries because your body is not supposed to do the same movements all year long.

There are many reasons athletes choose to specialize. Some athletes feel pressured to excel at one sport and to put all of their effort into it. Others think that if they practice one sport all year they will have an edge over somebody who plays two or three sports and does not focus on only that sport. Athletes who have aspirations of playing at the next level might think that college coaches want them to play that sport as much as they can, leading them to specialize.

Dexter Athletic Director and Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach Mike Bavineau says that he has seen an increase in specialization. The decrease in two sport athletes has not been too dramatic, but there is a large drop off in three sport athletes: he said only three kids in the entire class of 2016 played three sports.

“You want kids to be in as many pressure situations as possible,” Bavineau said.

When winter rolls around, he wants his players to be used to that pressure of the game being on the line. He says there are many benefits to playing another sport: leadership skills, making them a better teammate, giving the body a rest from one sport, exposing the athlete to competition with different people.

Dexter Athletic Trainer Trevor O’Brien believes that the body needs a break and athletes should not play one sport year round.

“Statistics show that if you play more than one sport you’re less likely to get injured,” O’Brien said. “This is because overuse injuries are more common in one sport athletes. “Your body will adapt to multidirectional movement if you play multiple sports instead of just one movement year round like throwing a baseball.”

All you have to do to give your body a break from the same repetitive movements is to play another sport. Many sports complement each other and improve skills in the other sport. For example, cross country and soccer both have a focus on cardiovascular endurance. Since women’s soccer is in the spring and cross country is in the fall, these sports go hand in hand. Field hockey and ice hockey work similar skills as in lacrosse.

Many female athletes at DHS play field hockey and lacrosse while many male athletes on the ice hockey team also play lacrosse. Lacrosse and hockey are similar sports, but at the same time different enough where they work different movement patterns and planes that will prevent overuse injuries.

Junior Daniel Higgins believes it is a good idea to play two sports that compliment each other and he proves it works. In the fall, Higgins is a starter on the varsity soccer team. In the spring he runs varsity track. He is one of the fastest athletes on both teams.

Last spring he went to states and nationals as a member of the 4×800 meter relay team.

“Both sports improve my cardiovascular endurance and speed, so the two complement each other well,” he said. Soccer helps me with track and the track workouts help me for soccer.”

Most pro athletes played at least two sports in high school, and some even in college. Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, Robert Griffin III, Jabrill Peppers, and Bo Jackson are all common names in football, but they all have something else in common, too. They all ran track. They are some of the fastest players in the game. If you could pick one athletic trait that separates Division I bound athletes from the average high school athlete, it is unquestionably speed. Speed is one of the most important skills for so many sports other than football, including soccer, field hockey, basketball, and hockey.

It’s no secret that the football program at Dexter has struggled in past years. Reasons for the lack of success are widely debated. But no matter what you think the program needs for success, one major skill that would help is speed. It puts the team at a disadvantage when they compete against teams like Chelsea, Saline, and Ypsilanti that have many of their skill players running track in the spring. The Dexter track team has lacked football players in recent years.

Former Dexter football defensive coordinator George Michos said if there is a good track coach, he would definitely want his skill players to run track.

“It teaches you the proper way to run and gets you fast. You can either pay somebody to coach you the proper way to run or you can just run track,” Michos said.

He believes the program will be more successful if more players run track because it will make the team faster overall.

There are always college recruiters at track and field invitational meets, but they are not only track recruiters. There are often college football recruiters and coaches talking to kids at meets in the spring. There are recruiters from a variety of sports watching kids that compete in track and field as a second sport.

If you only play one sport but want to be the best athlete you can be or have aspirations to continue a sport in college, the evidence suggests playing another sport too. If you can find a sport that complements one that you already play, your athletic performance can improve, and your risk of injury should decrease.

Squall Blind Date 2017

Through complicated Squall compatibility tests, two lucky
students were paired to participate in the annual Blind Date

By: Andy Dolen & Joe Ramey

OVERVIEW: The day started off like any other day. The sun rose in the morning and the birds called, but what awaited was much more intriguing. It was on that day, the 29th of January 2017, that the Squall’s annual blind date took place, and it couldn’t have gone more beautifully.

The two contestants were picked up in a beautiful chariot (a Dodge truck), and they were calmly escorted to their lovely meal in an equally as lovely location. (Actually, we just picked them up, forced them to wear blindfolds and not talk to one another. We then dropped them off at a restaurant with some cash and left to feed ourselves elsewhere).

The two love birds proceeded to consume their food and converse over it. Some of the topics consisted of swimming and school, as well as swimming IN school. The two contestants were constantly surveyed throughout the date (via Instagram live stream), only adding to the weight on both of their shoulders. The impending fear of disappointing the 27 viewers watching the stream accumulated over time. With all of that racing through the female’s mind, she took matters into her own hands in an attempt to create some alone time. She discontinued the stream.

Finally, when the date came to a close, we arrived and scooped up the two pretties, taking them back to their abodes, but not before closely interrogating them about the date.

All in all, it was a beautiful gathering an amazing outcome.

 

POST DATE QUESTIONS:

Rate the date from 1-10? 

Grace: 7

Stephen: 8

Were you happy when you saw who the date was?

Grace: “Yes. I was relieved.”

Stephen: “Yes!”

Do you see a future in the relationship? (2nd date?)

Grace: “Probably just friends… He’s funny and smart.”

Stephen: “Maybe…more yes than no.”

Did the date go as expected? Bad or good?

Grace: “It went well. I had a lot of fun  getting to know him.”

Stephen: “It went well.”

For Grace: What did you like most about your date? For Stephen: Will this impact your other relationship?

Grace: “He was really nice and outgoing.”

Stephen: “The other relationship wasn’t really official, so I dont think so…?”

Valentine’s Day In My Shoes

The author explains the annoyance of sharing a last name with a national holiday

Tyler Valentine

Everyone has their day throughout the year: a birthday. I have been blessed with the last name Valentine, which practically makes Valentine’s Day my holiday, and a second birthday.

The day, for me, is filled with way more joy than any average person’s Valentine’s Day purely because of my name. My family celebration of Valentine’s Day is more on par with that of Christmas because I am the one that invented the holiday that has been around for thousands of years. Yeet.

February 14, or Valentine’s Day, is a day for you to show your loved one how much you love them and what they mean to you. For others, without a significant other, their time that would typically be spent on a girl is spent on showcasing how dry your sense of humor is by cracking the same age-old jokes about my last name.

Jokes include asking me to be their Valentine, or if my family had something to do with the creation of Valentine’s Day have become regular. I understand if you’re my friend, or even if we are acquaintances and you can’t help but say something, but if I haven’t talked to you in over a year, please do not put me in an awkward situation by asking me to be my Valentine. I guarantee you haven’t had a more awkward encounter than having a random person ask you to be their Valentine, all I can do is awkwardly look at them and force a laugh. I know what you’re thinking “People are just being sarcastic; they don’t actually think that.”

When the best thing about it is that there are some people that actually think it is possible that I came up with Valentine’s Day. There are numerous people with the last name Christmas, or Easter, and that doesn’t mean they are related to the historical features.

Since second grade, I have heard the same jokes every single year. The attention was much appreciated back when I was eight, but it is beginning to grow old. Sure, it might have been a clever comment back then, but now it just makes the day annoying. I know it may be hard, but it would be much appreciated if you can keep the comments to yourself this year.