The Invisible Illness

Mental illness can be as severe as other illnesses, but students say even though they are hard to see, they are still there

By Tess Alekseev, Heather Brouwer, Isabella Franklin, Evelyn Maxey, Kira Perry, and Rachel Wittenberg


At five years old, she was so angry with herself for upsetting her mother that she placed a sign outside her bedroom door saying she was going to kill herself.

“I was so scared of getting in trouble,” an anonymous student at DHS who will hereafter be referred to as Erin said. “I thought this [reaction] was normal, but my mom immediately freaked out and took me to the hospital. That was kind of the wake-up call, that maybe something wasn’t right.”

Continue reading “The Invisible Illness”

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.

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.

Continue reading “Save the Women”

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”

60s Cult Leader Dead at 83

Charles Manson dies after 46 years behind bars

By tess alekseev

On Sunday, November 19th, the iconoclastic Manson family leader, Charles Manson, died. In 1969, he directed his cult to murder seven people. The perpetrators have been living out lifelong prison sentences since their apprehension. The murders made Manson one of the most culturally iconic criminals of the 20th century, and multiple movies and books detail his life and the murders — and any new material will include his death. Manson died at 83 of natural causes in Bakersfield, CA.

The Bell Jar Book Review

By tess Alekseev

Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical book The Bell Jar is a difficult topic. It’s the poet’s only novel, published in England just a month before her suicide in 1963, and posthumously in America in 1971.

On one hand, many argue that it’s a classic, and that it should be compulsory in high school literature courses: it’s witty, it’s heartbreaking, and it reaches to impossible depths of the human psyche. On the other, it’s criticized for being too depressing, too graphic, and try-hard.

Continue reading “The Bell Jar Book Review”

Supremacy Reigns

After years of following a traditional Homecoming court structure, DHS jumps ship to a court of royalty rather than King and Queen

By Jacoby Haley and Tess Alekseev

And now, announcing your Homecoming Supreme Royalty…

Wait, what? Homecoming court has always been known as a high school staple, but for Dexter it just became a little different.  Faculty members and the student council recently decided to change the traditional Homecoming court: The titles of “King” and “Queen” will now be “Supreme Royalty,” and “Prince” and “Princess” will be “Royalty.”

This change is to be the first of many changes to add inclusivity, a principle some feel has been historically missing  in our high school. Staff members told the Squall said they understand there will be push back about this change.

Despite this, these staff members still stand behind the change. Continue reading “Supremacy Reigns”

Positive Social Media App Sweeps DHS

By tess alekseev

This August, the anonymous messaging app TBH launched in Georgia. Since then, it has gained traction in other states, including Michigan.

It works like this: you enter your name, grade, gender, and school, then you add people from your suggested list. When you go leave comments on people’s profiles, it allows you to pick from a group of four people, and to pick the person that a superlative applies to. Examples include “looks stunning without even trying” and “has the guts to steal a car and drive to Vegas.” Continue reading “Positive Social Media App Sweeps DHS”

News Briefs

The biggest local, national, and international news stories that happened over the summer

Temple Mount Attack

by Tess Alekseev

Temple Mount lies near the Western Wall of Jerusalem in Israel, and it is hailed as a holy place for Muslim and Jewish people alike. On July 14th, there was a terror attack by three Israeli citizens of Palestinian origins who saw the recent surge in Jewish visitors to Temple Mount as an attack on the holiness of the site. After an intense shootout, two Druze cops were fatally shot along with the three gunmen. The attack prompted Israel to close Temple Mount for a brief period of time and to install metal detectors which angered Palestinian visitors. Jordan pressured Israel to take the detectors down. Eventually, Israel complied. Luckily, violence has since died down, and the fears of a third intifada did not come to light.

Continue reading “News Briefs”