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Kerry to require manditory service for high school students

  1. Oct 7, 2004 #1
    I have had this link for a few days now, and it seems valid if the domain web.archive.org can be trusted.

    Here is the link: http://web.archive.org/web/20040210043828/www.johnkerry.com/issues/natservice/

    Pay attention to the following quotes (they are on the linked page under "National Service Plan Highlights." Keep in mind that this is from an older version of www.johnkerry.com

    "As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service."

    "High School Service Requirement

    As President, John Kerry will ensure that every high school student in America performs community service as a requirement for graduation. This service will be a rite of passage for our nation’s youth and will help foster a lifetime of service. States would design service programs that meet their community and educational needs. However, John Kerry does not believe in unfunded mandates. No state would be obligated to implement a service requirement if the federal government does not live up to its obligation to fund the program."

    "A Summer of Service for Teenagers

    Thirteen to seventeen year olds are too old for child care and too young for many summer jobs. John Kerry believes we should tap their energy and idealism through a summer of service learning. Supervised by AmeriCorps members, these young people could help out in nursing homes, clean up local areas, or teach seniors computer skills. In turn, they would receive a $500 grant to apply to their college or vocational educations down the road. Parents do not want to leave their children alone all summer but most cannot afford other means of care. The Summer of Service program would give parents peace of mind and at the same time build more responsible and dedicated young citizens and stronger, more vibrant communities."
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  3. Oct 7, 2004 #2


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    This is a requirement in high schools in many other countries, if I'm not mistaken. Has this idea been through the system and got shot down, or is it new ?
  4. Oct 8, 2004 #3


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    That idea went through the system way back when I was in high school. It was never government mandated, but a number of schools decided to try it out. It met with great resistance (of course there was no payment in the form of a college grant to go with it). The main argument was actually from students (and the parents of those students) who did do volunteer work on a truly voluntary basis. Basically, people do volunteer work because they enjoy it and because it is its own reward. If you force people to do it, then it isn't volunteer work, it's just work, and we thought it was more likely to turn students away from volunteering because they'd grow to resent being required to do it. It also ignored the fact that some of the poorer students needed to work for pay, and did not have time for volunteer work in addition to their part-time jobs and homework.

    Over the years, there have been a lot of proposals for making young people more productive during their summers, but they all get shot down by people who think kids should goof-off and play all summer, and once the school year ends, they can turn their brains off for 2 months. Summer reading programs have never really gained popularity for that same reason (of course I always objected to those because I used to read all summer anyway, but didn't want the school picking which books I had to read since I always thought they picked boring books :wink:).
  5. Oct 8, 2004 #4
    Even if it was being done in other countries, does that mean that we should do the same?

    When I went through high school, I wasn't required to do service but in order for me to qualify for my state scholarship (which my parents paid the bill for regardless because of taxes), I had to do at least 75 hours of service.

    Somewhere, though, there is a little piece of paper that says this:

    "Neighter slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as pubishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

    Mandatory: Required or commanded by authority; obligatory
    Obligatory: Of the nature of an obligation; compulsory
    Compulsory: Employing or exerting compulsion; coercive
    Involuntary: Acting or done without or against one's will
    Coerce: To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel

    He also has on his website at http://www.johnkerry.com/issues/education/ the idea that schools should be until 6pm every day.
  6. Oct 8, 2004 #5
    How does a national draft fit with this?
  7. Oct 8, 2004 #6
    Where I live in order to get a highschool diploma you need to complete 40 hrs of 'mandatory volunteer work.' lol

    Except that's 40 hrs in total spread over your entire highschool career...so that's 10 hrs a year. Even still, many students put off the entire 40 hrs until a month before graduation.
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