In the 10th grade I was given an assignment to write an essay against making community service mandatory for high school graduation.
Should Community Service Be Mandatory For High School Graduation?
Community Service is a service that is performed for the benefit of the public or its institutions. There are two groups who perform community service, and those are criminals and the rest of us. That means that, for the majority of us, performing community service is completely voluntary. It is for reasons like this that I believe that community service should not be mandatory in high school for graduation. The supporters of this act think of it as an ideal society’s noble concept, but it is rather a noble concept trying to force an ideal society. When you look at it from this perspective you realize it is self-contradictory.
Furthermore, you must take into consideration that teenagers don’t like being told they have to do something, and when they are they tend to do it less than halfheartedly. For example, there are teenagers who enjoy gardening, teenagers who enjoy running, and teenagers who enjoy playing piano. When you force all teenagers to do this job you will find many who do not enjoy these activities and do them with little effort if they do it at all. Just to hit the point closer to home, consider this: When Mr. Rodriguez gives work and tells you to do it, there are many who simply don’t. However, when Mr. Rodriguez offers make-up work there are many who chose to do it.
Secondly, as grim a fact as it is, we need to consider that students are already struggling as it is on average. Outside the education realm, students might have to deal with issues such as social status, self-esteem, up-and-down relationships with friends or significant others, or even worse parents, which could lead to a whole other batch of problems alone. Of course, assuming none of these problems arise, we find that they most of all struggle with their education. According to a speech given by President Obama March 1st of this year, 1.2 million students drop out of high school yearly. If you add more requirements for graduation can we really expect any better? Lets certainly not forget that many schools probably shouldn’t have more on their plate either. Around 2,000 high schools make up 60% of these drop outs. That means 12% of all American high schools have a high concentration of problems, and if they can’t do their basic function of teaching then how can we expect them to handle mandatory community service?
Finally, some teenagers just need to work. Each year around 750,000 high school female students become pregnant, and as we all know babies add enormous stress to your pocket book. These students need to work to support their families, and they just can’t afford to spend any time on school-mandated community service. They could miss work and get fired and then they couldn’t afford diapers for their baby and they could crack and try to rob a liquor store and get caught and then they would be incarcerated and definitely couldn’t support their family. So you tell me, would it be worth it?
My opponent believes that community service should be mandatory in high school for graduation. When we consider that even people in jail get paid for their “community service”, making It more like penal labor, and community service court orders pay in the form of reduced sentences, all that leaves is volunteers. Volunteering is not volunteering if you are forced to volunteer; it is just forced labor. Any way you put it, the point is still flawed, forced volunteering is a paradox, and forced labor is slavery. This is why you can’t have mandatory community service in high school.