Our View: Senior Pranks are in a Downward Spiral

By Staff
A notable prank by the class of 2015, painting the rock as the poop emoji

Senior year: the grand conclusion to 13 grueling years of schooling. The once feeble freshman are now at the top of the food chain. Come senior year, many students seek to leave their mark on their high school, generally in unorthodox ways. Senior pranks have been a tradition in countless schools across America. They vary in degree and topic, but most end with a student being punished. While some administrations are more strict than others, there are certainly lines to be drawn for what is appropriate and inappropriate as a last hurrah.

The Dexter administration doesn’t endorse senior pranks at all: they draw the line at any prank that hurts others, causes damage, disrupts the school, costs the school money, or violates the student code of conduct, this is how pranks should be done. The term “prank” refers to a practical joke or mischievous act. As of late, senior pranks have been vandalistic and harmful, raising the question: do senior pranks need to be reconsidered?

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Our View: Experience Should Trump Celebrity Status

by the squall staff

Mount Rushmore, 2020

When Oprah Winfrey gave a commendable speech on the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes, the nation was understandably ecstatic. In attacking sexual abuse and warning abusers that “their time was up,” she tied us all together at a time when we’re quite far apart.

Whether you were a Hollywood superstar, average joe, office worker, or just a procrastinating high school student, it resonated with you. On social media, feeds lit up with yells of Winfrey 2020, while the talking heads on cable news spent hours salivating over the possibility of a Trump vs. Winfrey election. In an amazing twist, celebrities with zero legislative experience are now being seriously contended as presidential candidates, a reality that seems unsurprising when one lives under the Celebrity-in-Chief himself.

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Our View: Cheating policies should be more meaningful

By Staff

Academic dishonesty and education go hand in hand, and never goes away. While this can range from copying homework to blatantly cheating off someone else’s test, it has become even more complex and commonplace in recent years. Yet, the Dexter Community Schools’ policy is vague and inconsistently enforced at DHS.

Like everything else, cheating has evolved with the times, especially since technology has skyrocketed. Students have the internet at their fingertips; all they have to do is figure out a way to keep it there during a test.

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Our View: Parent-Teacher Conferences Need Fixing

By Staff

Once every fall, parents of Dexter students visit the high school for an hour or more of conversations with teachers they don’t know and about classes they probably aren’t familiar with at parent-teacher conferences. By the second semester, the information isn’t relevant anymore, due to the fact their students’ classes, teachers, and overall performance are likely all different.

Since many parents may forget what they learn at conferences and get no point of reference for the next semester, one conference isn’t enough to inform them of how their students are doing. Often, just looking at a student’s grades isn’t enough to understand the big picture of that student’s performance, since social factors and behavior also play a role in education. As such, parents need a far more reliable and consistent mode of communication than one conference a year.

The concept of parent-teacher conferences isn’t inherently flawed—it’s important for parents and school faculty to have a dialogue in order to help their students succeed in school, and conferences are a great way to accomplish that. The issue lies in the only official, scheduled form of communication that parents and teachers have during the school year being once-a-year conferences. Not only that, but also having the conference at the beginning of the year means that parents don’t see the change, or lack thereof, in their students’ performances. By second semester, classes have changed and students themselves have changed.

Even if parents could realistically get the full scope of school performance from one meeting, they might not go to conferences. Most parents have to work, run errands, and care for other children every weekday; therefore, they don’t have time to visit the school on a normal evening. The school does try to remedy this by making it half day and running conferences from 1-4 p.m. and 5:30-8 p.m., but this still doesn’t mean that every parent will be able to attend. Other parents may not attend simply out of laziness or lack of care, which is unfair to the student. Parents need more than one official opportunity to meet with teachers throughout the year.

“First semester needs more time, because freshmen are coming in, and if a student’s having trouble you want to catch it early in the year,” English teacher John Heuser said. “But I think having something second semester would be valuable.”

Teachers of semester-long classes are also put at a disadvantage by the lack of a second semester conference.

“I teach semester-long courses, so when I switch students I don’t get to meet their parents,” Heuser said. “I like what we do, but I don’t think touching base with parents second semester is a bad idea.”

Some may argue that curriculum night and open house are opportunities for teachers and parents to meet, but these aren’t useful for anything but meeting a teacher and the understanding general goals of a course. At the beginning of the year, teachers don’t know students’ personalities or abilities, and parents can’t gain any information about how a student is doing from these meetings.

“There’s not enough time to distinguish between teachers,” psychology and sociology teacher Tracy Stahl said. “Parents might feel good about knowing who’s going to be in front of their students every day, but beyond that I don’t think it has any greater significance.”

Hosting a conference once each semester would be a great step toward involving parents in education and helping students receive the support that they need. In addition, guardians could be allowed to sign up for classroom notifications to see what work their student needs to be doing. Teachers need to further establish a connection with their students’ parents in order to keep them up-to-date.

Parent-teacher conferences aren’t a lost cause or useless—far from it—but work needs to be done before they can truly be beneficial to everyone.

Our View: Homecoming is Outdated and Needs to Change

By the Squall Staff

The homecoming dance at Dexter High School is an unfortunate casualty of the times. Something once so revered with a central spot in high school life has become little more than a reason to throw a party anywhere but the school. Year after year, without relief, the dance itself has been watered down into something that barely constitutes a dance, let alone something meaningful or worthwhile to attend. The mobilization of dozens of chaperones, the acquisition of a DJ without a Spotify account, and the brilliant idea of turning on the cafeteria lights during a dance are all now parts of our Homecoming traditions.

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Our View: Starting school an hour later won’t help student get more sleep

Every weekday morning, millions of school goers all across the country wake up to the sound of their alarm and get ready for the school day to come. Most wish desperately to have an extra hour of sleep, still tired from the day’s previous events. Many schools around the country have opted to push their start time an hour later. However, with the average high schooler’s schedule getting busier each year, starting school an hour later will have no benefit for sleep-deprived students.

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OUR VIEW: If You’re Old Enough to Fight, You’re Old Enough to Drink

By: Staff

In the United States, turning 18 comes with many new privileges: fighting for your country, buying tobacco products, adopting a child, voting, getting married and more. With all of these many new entitlements and being considered a legal adult, these freedoms seemingly end at buying and consuming alcohol. Continue reading “OUR VIEW: If You’re Old Enough to Fight, You’re Old Enough to Drink”

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.

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.