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Post Reply Should high schools require community service?
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15 / F / Not Heaven
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Posted 11/29/14 , edited 11/29/14
In my school, Service Hours are necessary in order to progress to the next grade. Service Hours consists of Home hours (doing housework), School hours (doing things that will benefit the school, e.g. helping clean the classrooms after class), and Parish hours (doing things that will benefit the church, e.g. participating in choir). [It's a parish school, and every Friday we hold a school mass, where a grade is assigned to host the mass, e.g. 7th grade hosting, so only 7th graders will be the choir, readers, etc.] . In 8th grade, you do all the same things (Service hours get higher in each grade) except this time there's Community Hours. How I earned mine is that I participated in the Coastal cleanup, where you just "clean-up" the location the people assigned you in. In 6th grade you need 10 hours for the year, 7th grade you need 15 hours, and in 8th you need 20 hours. The highschool I'm going to next year also has something similar to that, except only for School and Community, I believe. So what I'm trying to say is that some schools are already working towards that and it should be encouraged.
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21 / M / The Heroes Associ...
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Posted 11/29/14
we had to do 140 hours total for grade 12 and 13 (IB years)
Posted 11/29/14
So basically make all the kids who usually don't go to college do community hours. Interesting.
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19 / F / ON, Canada
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Posted 12/1/14
My High School has mandatory community service. A minimum of 40 hours of community service is required to graduate, which I've already completed last winter. It should be in all High Schools because it teaches you things you just don't end up learning in a classroom.
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Posted 12/1/14

BlueOni wrote:


shuyi000 wrote:

Your school is probably Government funded...
..In that case, it makes sense that you do something for the public in return..


Enriching a sense of community involvement and participation absolutely should be a goal of any educational program containing compulsory voluntary service, but what should be of the greatest importance is the impact such a policy has on students, both in terms of their quality of life and the quality of their educational outcomes.


Exactly. I think it's extremely important these days to teach our children awareness of their community and to empathize with others. I think nursing homes, toy drives for needy children, participation in community events.. working in a soup kitchen.. these are important things for kids to experience and to grow from.


severticas wrote:


Wihl wrote:

I would refuse based on slavery is outlawed in the US and most other countries.


They renamed it now


Yeah it's called minimum wage and unpaid internships. It's where you are given work by a company because nobody will hire you without "experience", so the unpaid labor is to give you that "experience" while the company profits on your unpaid labor, and then gets to also NOT hire you, and NOT pay someone else decently because hey, they have unpaid interns to do that...

Though, I will admit, I wouldn't want to have our high school students (and hell, I participated in helping out in community service when I was in middle school during a toy drive) doing manual labor like picking up trash on the sides of roads (though cleaning up the local parks and planting trees might be good), or painting fences to be my idea of fostering community spirit.


Ouzoathena11 wrote:

It's giving back to the community, keeping kids humble and helping them see good ways to contribute to the community.

My high school was Catholic, so our community service was mandatory. I never once heard anyone complain about it. Because our school was Catholic, we had different reasoning... As Christians, we're supposed to give of ourselves, and that means helping people out which in the end is community service. And I did have non-Christian classmates, and none of them seemed to mind.

On top of which, for some of us, it was easy to fulfill that requirement. And for me, what fulfilled my requirement was going on a mission trip to Tanzania with several of my classmates. 60 hours, covered easily with that one trip.

In the end, I think lots of students do some community service without even realizing it. So I don't think it's a bad requirement. It just makes kids more aware of how they can help out and hopefully keep them from being too selfish.


Exactly! It doesn't NEED to have a religious meaning behind it, but it's an important part that is lost in our current educational system.

I would also like to see students in high school required to take two years of ethics, a year of politics, and instead of calculus, required to take a class in logic.


tohukyo wrote:

Well the concept of community service is great but I don't think it should be mandatory. You'll never know what other responsibilities a student has and making it mandatory can hinder the student. I can attempt to make the argument of "help because you want to, not because you are forced to" however the flaw in that argument is that there are people who want to help only after they are forced to since they'll become aware of it.

Personally in terms of high school, teens are getting ready to go to college and the competition to get into great college is tough in america. Students who care will do community service in order to show commitment and willingness to give back to their community. However there is also the thing called building your college resume and the motives are quite sly in which students simply do in order to have it on record. I hated seeing other kids lazing around, just being there so it's enough to get their hours of service. That is just messed up to me.I did it well and it made me happy to help others--killed two birds with one stone.

Plus students may have their time filled with extracurriculars (e.g. cram school, music lessons, sports, and language classes). \



I don't think it really detracts from their studies. I do agree that nobody really does it unless they're "forced". The culture we live in in the US is VERY much an "every man for themself" sort of mentality.

BUT, you touch upon an important aspect. a LOT of schools have a Key Club, which, as my teachers who forced me into it (didn't drive, kinda pointless when everything they "volunteered" for meant a half an hour drive, and I can't snag a ride), stated, it's an EXCELLENT resume builder for colleges because it's all about community service.

Another way to look at it is that if you do these sorts of community outreach things, it's also possibly a decent way to get familiar with many different paths and careers related to those activities, and perhaps one might strike you as something you want to study more about in college.



shuyi000 wrote:


BlueOni wrote:

Enriching a sense of community involvement and participation absolutely should be a goal of any educational program containing compulsory voluntary service, but what should be of the greatest importance is the impact such a policy has on students, both in terms of their quality of life and the quality of their educational outcomes.


I'd rather school teaches and install in them the nature of charity instead...
...Forcing students to participate in communities service probably defeat the purpose of improving quality of educational outcomes.

Compulsory voluntary service - If it is compulsory. it isn't voluntary.


Charity comes from empathy. Empathy comes from walking a mile in someone else's shoes or experiencing a problem firsthand. You can throw allllll the money you want at a problem, but honestly, time and manpower are far more valuable.


DollyDagger11 wrote:

How about we fix the broken educational system we have first before we think about things like "making our public schools require kids to do community service".

Some of us have family businesses to take care of and clean trash on the daily as it is. Not everyone's daily high school life isn't so carefree that we have extra time on our hands, especially in this economy.


ooooooooooooogh.... This is a tough one.The educational system IS broken. but I would argue it's broken because it's focus is primarily on test taking and though rote memorization is important, to be honest, most of what we learn doesn't have the immediacy of real world application. Volunteerism can be a way to demonstrate the need of what one learns.

But that's kinda neither here nor there.

Yes, there are kids out there that have work. Yes, there's kids out there that have other activities...

i dunno. I work 2- 20 hr. a week jobs while in high school, and still did pretty fine. Considering that's twice what is actually legal for someone under 18 to work a week, I think a kid with an after school job can manage 4 hours of community service a week.
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19 / F / London
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Posted 12/2/14
We have nothing of the sort here but actually, I think that'd be super beneficial. I don't care for extra workl loads if I'm honest, too many people round here vanadlise the environment for no reason.
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21 / F / Los Angeles
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Posted 12/4/14
It seems like those attending private and public schools have different opinions on this. As for me, I graduated from a public high school. The price my parents pay in taxes for having two small local owned businesses is pretty high. Yet for some odd reason, my high school couldn't "afford" to give each student access to a simple Algebra II math book. Half the students failed, and the principle claimed that if they listened to the teacher more intently and took rigorous notes that wouldn't have happened.

Now, if my family had to work their asses off to pay for insanely high taxes, and could not afford to pay for their own kids ACT/SAT scores, school fees, and let alone college tuition, would you really think they would agree sending their child off to conduct 5 hours of that "community service"? You need to consider the economy first before making decisions such as "compulsory community service". Voluntary service however, should be encouraged.
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Posted 12/7/14 , edited 2/7/15
In the UK schools are required to provide places for short term work experiences. It can last one or two weeks. This happens at ages 14 and over. It's all part of the education curriculum. It happens within school hours so for a week or so they'll be going to the work placement instead of school. There is a placement worker who visits them at work site to check up on them. Some actually do some work under instruction and a lot of supervision. Others end up being put in a corner to observe for their entire time. What shouldn't happen is that they're seen as replacement for a paid worker for their time there. I've supervised some kids on placements at one of my jobs for a few years. It was interesting especially when the young person had chosen something totally different to what they ended up doing. If someone wants to do extra voluntary work or get a paid part-time job when they're 14 and over then that's up to them. Those that do are ahead of the crowd when it comes to applying for jobs and university programs when they're around the age of 18 because they come with experience as well as the required grades. Others that haven't have to catch up with unpaid internships and or depend on their parents' networking to get a foot in the door when it comes to employment when they've finished studies.

I think having extra mandatory community service is a bad idea. As it is some community service is a non custodial sentence to a crime. It'd also discriminate against those who don't have the time to do extra curriculum services like those who care for younger siblings or disabled family members or have health problems themselves or have to work part-time due to financial difficulties.

I didn't have mandatory community service when I was in the Caribbean in school. I joined St. John's Ambulance and got first aid training then some duties. In the summer when I was 15, grandmother looked after a nursery whilst the owner went on holiday, she took my lil sis and I along to help out. Bro had begun to spend his summers at a cousin's advertising business. At 14 the local bank had a national voluntary initiative that all secondary schools took part in. We had to come up with an idea for a workable project, plan it and execute it. There was a reward for participation. We were each awarded a bank account with a $10 deposit to start it off. Our school went for dividing things into two projects, a drug awareness rally and outreach work to destitute families. I'd heard of others schools work projects, one I recall who designed, obtained building materials and built a house for a family whose house had burnt down.
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Posted 2/3/15 , edited 2/3/15
No, that should be the students' choice (or maybe I just don't want some of them to do those so there's less competition on scholarships and universities JK) butt I have contributed 100+ hours on community service already
Posted 2/3/15 , edited 2/3/15
My club required me to serve community service during winter break, every year. I had to clean up public park, public street, public restroom, all those mess punk @$$ high school students make.

It should be student's choice. In Japan, there weren't not many scholarship to college just for doing community services or excelling in school. It was that one entrance exam that decided our admission to high school and college.
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51 / M / Madison, Wi
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Posted 2/3/15
mandatory? no
HOWEVER some sort of community service should be highly encouraged.
the reason to not make it mandatory is because of the different needs and situations every student has. Some kids do have part time jobs.
While in the band back in HS (back in the early 80's) several of us would on our own perform for people around the area. (ie Senior Citizen center. Child care centers, etc.)
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54 / M / Tacoma, WA. wind...
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Posted 2/3/15
Mine didn't but that was over 35 years ago....

I think it would have been a good idea. Some of the people I went to school did community service because they had to... (getting busted by the cops) .... others, most actually, did it because they were taught that was the way to be.

When I moved to Seattle after I graduated I noticed some of my younger friends went to schools that required the community service to graduate..... I noticed it started to catch on at other schools around the Puget Sound. I don't know if the practice continued or not.

I think it's good if everyone has to shovel a little shit, literally or metaphorically, help less fortunate people and do a little cleaning . . . you tend not to be looking down your nose at people that way.

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31 / M / Minnesota, USA
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Posted 2/3/15
To me it would have been rather pointless. And I'd end up doing most of the work. Also I don't work for free. Along with that a highschool [private at least] is a business. Most parents aren't going to be happy about paying for their kids to go work for free.
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Posted 2/3/15

LONGNAMEYOUWONTMISS wrote:

Mandatory volunteer service would defeat the whole purpose of VOLUNTEER service.


haha that's true XD "i'm doing this cuz i have to" yeah that's not really volunteering. Doesn't teach anything.
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Posted 2/4/15
I went to a public school and I believe it should be mandatory in high school. 20-30 hours is a decent amount for the school year.
Yeah, studying is important but so is skill building and learning time management. It's a rude awakening to find out that being booksmart has its limit. Imo public schools don't do a really good job at preparing students for college for whatever reasons.
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