High schools mandating community service for graduation
"Basically, student service learning is translating book-learning into action," he says.Although the Maryland Board of Education mandated community service, it made no provision for funds for personnel, teacher training, transportation or record-keeping."It's more dangerous than if students stay in school." Community Service Programs Some state legislatures, including those of Ohio, Oklahoma and Minnesota, have passed laws that allow school districts to offer credits for community service.Wisconsin allows school districts to make community service a graduation requirement.Innocuous as the idea of community service may sound, a vocal group of parents and educators objects to the fact that it is mandatory.
However, opponents of this type of requirement have gone so far as to file a lawsuit claiming it violates the 13th Amendment, which bans involuntary servitude, and the First Amendment, because it forces the students into symbolic speech and imposes values.
Controversy simmers as some states try to make community service a high school graduation requirement.
Not since the 1960s, when the boom in community service programs was at its peak, has there been such an interest in the idea of young people giving back to their community and learning through volunteer service.
Now, some schools are requiring it for graduation, but not without controversy.
A Maryland State Board of Education decision to require community service has met with such opposition that the Maryland General Assembly is expected to try to pass a bill prohibiting it.
The Anne Arundel County Maryland Board of Education says the requirement "carries a high price tag for implementation, monitoring, transportation and scheduling." One source of help could be the National and Community Service Act of 1990, passed by Congress, which provides funding, training and technical aid to states and communities to develop and broaden K-12 community service projects.