COMPULSORY VOLUNTEERISM The issue of community service for the high school graduates is becoming more and more controversial, as many students and their parents rightfully raise the concerns about the legal aspects of such policy. Also, people are becoming more discontent with it because they dont see how compulsory community service for high school kids can be beneficial for both, students and the society. For example, in Ontario, students require to perform at least 40 hours of community service, in order to graduate. Some states in America require them to be socially useful for at least 60 hours, before they qualify for the final exams. There is only another institution in America that forces individual to perform community duties in compulsory manner the penal system. Is it appropriate to force young people to look after elders, wash dishes and pick up garbage, at the expense of them having less time they can spend on studying? Thomas Bowden in his article compulsory service for High School Students goes down to the root of the problem when he says: Advocates of mandatory service like to claim sole possession of the moral high ground.
Abstract As higher educational institutions aim for competitive advantage, the evaluation of educational service quality has become essential. This study presents the result of an assessment of the quality of instructional service in a private university from the perspective of its students and using the SERVQUAL model. Three areas were looked into: (a) the most effective service quality among ...
To them, the moral duty of unpaid service to others is an unquestionable absolute. But not all citizens concede an unchosen obligation to serve. Holding their own lives as their highest value, many reject as evil the notion that being needy confers on some people a moral claim to free labor from others (Bowden).
It is exactly the problem with proponents of community service for students. They often refer to morality and the higher good, while defending their notion of compulsory public duties. But we have the right to ask, what morality? And, as a response, the self-appointed guardians of morality will pull out moldy Christianity, which they claim to be the foundation, upon American society is based. It can never dawn on them that Christianity has long ago have proven itself as the most bloodthirsty religion, with moral notions that are repugnant at best. They keep going on and on about how people dont realize what is good for them and about how government institutions need to help them with that.
Also, many liberal watchdogs of political correctness begin to sing a very similar tune, although they base their vision of enforced virtue on their own philosophy of tolerance, which consider any other points of view as wrong. They obviously forget their own liberal dogmas about American society being multicultural. This implies that some people of different cultural background do not necessarily think that serving public for nothing might be a proper thing to do. We might argue about whether it is good or bad, but the fact is that our society is based solely on the principle of economic profit. This is what children are being taught at school. According to our vision of democracy, what matters in this life is the level of comfort that individual can attain.
The ideal is to be able to earn as much money as possible with the least possible effort applied. Therefore, when students are being asked to perform community duties in exchange for moral satisfaction, they begin to wonder whether their teachers are mentally normal. This is what called a conceptual dishonesty. Apparently, it is not just a government that pulls this trick on citizens, but also many commercial companies begin to implement it as the part of their business philosophy. McDonalds is a good example of this. Its employees are required to work extra hours, when its needed, without getting paid. The only mean to encourage them to do so, is the fact that they suppose to be part of corporate culture, by embracing team spirit.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0261-0159.htm EOI 26,3 178 Mentoring minority graduate students: issues and strategies for institutions, faculty, and students Kecia M. Thomas Department of Psychology and The Institute for African American Studies, University of Georgia, Georgia, USA Leigh A. Willis Department of Sociology and The ...
Although, companies that actively practice innovative screening methods claim that their foremost concern is making it easier for candidates to enroll, what theyre really after is the most efficient exploitation of its workers. This is just a half of the problem though. At least 80% of community service consists of helping elderly people. The young students are the least prepared to face various problems that come with that. It is generally unhealthy for high school kids to hang out with old folks, with whom they have no family attachments. Even professional nurses very often have nervous breakdowns, while dealing with old people that have absolutely no reason left to live.
Can we really expect high school students to be able to comfort and to take care of such people, or to help them in any respect? Thomas Bowden makes an excellent point while saying: does anyone really believe that students will develop pride by succumbing to orders, abandoning their own personal projects, and serving the needs of strangers? The true source of pride is the achievement of one’s own values. Pride in oneself cannot result from wiping one’s own values out of existence (Bowden).
What are the contra arguments of those who are in favor of continuing to subject high school students to the pleasures of compulsory community service? For example, Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution in Washington is being very active recently, suggesting that the hours of community service for youth should even be extended. In his view: For many people, their year in compulsory service may be the only time in their lives where they mix for an extended time and on an equal footing with others from very different backgrounds (Epstein, Litan).
If we adopt his logic, than it will appear that the holocaust survivors should appreciate their time in concentration camps, instead complaining about it, because they were being taught to work hard and had a valuable experience of being mixed with people from other cultures. For any individual, who hadnt completely lost its ability to analyze, the whole premise of instilling people with respect to each other, by forcibly putting them together, appears to be wrong in its essence. As a matter of fact, if fat-bellied policy making pushers like Litan are so fond of compulsory community service, let them apply this concept to themselves.
School activities are very important for the students and for the school. For the students, because they gain new skills and motivation. It’s a real chance for them to enjoy school and choose to do something they are really interested and passionate about, and therefore their motivation for learning and their motivation for their teachers and the school increase. It makes them relate ...
It would certainly benefit the self-appointed guardians of public morality, by making them to lose an excessive weight and by enabling them to actually do something useful, for a change. If compulsory community services for students are the must, let them do something physical, where they can see the final results of their work, like building highways or digging trenches. Instead we teach them at early age that many professional activities only appear to be such on the surface, while society can effectively function without having to make sure that the children can only cross the road under supervision, or without social workers, who entertain elderly citizens. The first time that students learn how to slack off from work is when they go after their hours of community service. It is not the quality of their performance that counts but length, measured in hours. The only valuable lesson that they learn, while doing it, is the fact that if social system is stupid enough, why not take advantage of it? Why not trying to bribe the official at the hospital, so that he will confirm that the particular student spent required hours being useful? Also, it is well known that children are not being born racists. Yet, if multiculturalism and celebration of diversity are being showed up students throats on daily basis, while they perform community service, they might grow quite intolerant.
It is during their hours of communal work that they observe that other students inclination towards hard work is directly dependant on their cultural background. What is especially repulsive about the policy of compulsory community service for high school students is the artificial sweetness of its official sounding: The Watershed School is an innovative new high school in Boulder, Colorado. We offer adolescents a high school experience that is meaningful, engaging, and challenging. Our experiential, interdisciplinary curriculum offers students the opportunity to do real-world work that is challenging and that makes a difference in their community (Multicultural Education Plan).
Election Day 1999 was a day larger than me and larger than my school. For me, however, all that mattered that day was the student council election in which I was a candidate for vice president. Earlier that year, I had been encouraged by my friends to run for the position of class representative. I was initially apprehensive about taking on the responsibilities of my schoolwork, as well as the ...
Apparently, the authors of this opus have completely lost their touch with reality. The overwhelming majority of high school kids hate community service. But it is not just them; their parents also consider public work as a complete waste of valuable time. In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, angry parents filed a lawsuit against the local school board, arguing that the compulsory community service, which it imposes on students, is nothing but an example of involuntary servitude.
Such servitude is forbidden by U.S. Constitution. So far, this parents claim is being rejected by the Court of Appeals, but it wont be long before the Court will be forced to recognize its validity, as parents discontent with community service programs for students continues to grow. It is important that those in position of power paid a little respect to the principles, upon this country were being built. To conclude this paper let us quote from Bowdens article once again: Our children must learn to read and write so they can pursue their own goals as adults, whatever those individual goals may be. Mandatory service, however, confers no such personal benefits; it only gets recalcitrant students accustomed to self-sacrifice. Why is it so easy to see the horror in a program that breaks students’ bones, yet so hard to see the same horror in a program that breaks students’ spirits? (Bowden).
In my opinion, the abandoning of compulsory community service for students is not enough.
It must be accompanied with the removal of promoters of this policy from public offices, unless their really want to prove their allegiance to the idea, by actually performing community services themselves, without getting paid. Many of this countrys social projects must be brought to sanity. Students community service is one of such projects that need to be addressed without delay. If school boards cannot eliminate it altogether, they must at least enable students to get paid for what they do. American government finds millions of dollars to help the needy children of Somalia, while our own children have to be slaving, without receiving any reward whatsoever. This practice is conceptually and morally wrong and it must be abandoned as soon as possible.
Perry Unified School District has made a school board decision that all students attending schools in the city of Iowa must wear school uniforms at all times. School board has come up with the decision because they believe that the mandatory use of uniform reduces violence within the school. It is also representation the community. They also believe that students who wear school uniforms behave ...
Bibliography: Bowden, T. Compulsory Service for High School Students. (September 1, 1998).
Capitalism Magazine. Retrieved November 17, 2005 from http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3255 Epstein, E. Making Americans: New Push for National Service. Sept. 11 Revives Interest in Citizenship Duty for Youth.
(January 6, 2002).
City Year.org. Retrieved November 17, 2005 from http://www.cityyear.org/pressroom/clipp.cfm?Clipp= MakingAmericans&CatID=5 Multicultural Education Plan (2005).
Watershed School. Retrieved November 17, 2005 from http://www.watershedschool.org/multiculturalplan.h tml Multicultural Pride: Empowerment Through Understanding (2003).
Students for Progressive Action.
Retrieved November 17, 2005 from http://www.spaction.org/multiculturalprideconferen ce.php Valentine. H. Ontarios Compulsory Volunteer Service. (June 7, 2003).
Quebecois Libre. Retrieved November 17, 2005 from http://www.quebecoislibre.org/030607-7.htm.