United They Stand

Truck line students join together to show their support for Florida shooting victims

By Bailey Welshans

Guns, flags, hateful comments, and more uproar.

Dexter High School had it all Wednesday morning.

At 10 AM this morning, students walked out of Dexter High School for 17 minutes in remembrance of the students who were killed during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

However, many feel it turned into much more.

“It turned into an anti-gun protest instead of remembering the people [who died],” junior Cam Revill said.

The DHS truck line, made up of a line of approximately a dozen trucks, was negatively portrayed this morning for putting up various flags off their trucks.

Many parents and students expressed their safety concerns to the administration, thinking the actions of those in the truck line were hateful.

The thought process behind the flags was not intended to be hateful or disrespectful according to truck line students.

“It had nothing to do with hate,” senior Devon Fietzer said. “We couldn’t be here this morning for the walkout because of consortium. This was our way of remembering the lives lost [in the Florida school shooting].”

That didn’t prevent the anger and angry gestures from parents dropping off students in the morning.

“Parents, after they dropped their kids off, were flipping us off as they were leaving the school,” said junior Kevin DeVoogd, adding that students were calling them racists, bigots, and hicks.

“The definition of a hick is a person who lives in the country regarded as being unintelligent or provincial, and I feel disrespected by being called unintelligent just because I have a truck and live in the country,” junior Jason Milkey said.

The students involved in the truck line felt the protest became political rather than being focused on raising awareness for school safety.

“We were showing pride for our country and standing up for our beliefs,” junior Josh Mason said. “We wanted to represent our gun laws and the lives lost.”

A combination of the Confederate flag and the American flag was flown by one of the truck line students; many parents and students saw it as an act of disrespect.  The high school’s main phone line, Assistant Principal Ken Koenig said, was then bombarded with parent phone calls this morning about the flag.

“I drove out there and asked, as a favor, if they could take [the Confederate flag] down,” Koenig said. “I didn’t demand they take it down. I said ‘I’m completely respecting your first amendment rights. I’m asking as a favor. They climbed up there and took it down.”

Koenig said the administration is currently dealing with incidents related to the walkout, including spiteful posts on social media directed toward students in the truck line.

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