Mandatory service requirement for high school students

Sen. Dodd has proposed that all high school students be required to perform community service in order to graduate. Why only high school students? Because they are young and defenseless. If he really feels forced community service is useful why require it only of those not able to defend themselves? Let us require it at 17, and also 27, 37, 47, 57, 67.  It should not only apply to them but to us. Will it (forced service) provide tangible benefits to the communities? Or more likely will it provide deeply resentful, angry students who do very poor jobs, cause many problems and be destructive forces?  Will it (forced labor) instill the values of public service or will it cause many to so despise public service that they will even be less likely to vote?

There are many students badly needing extra time to study (which they often do not use properly). Well so what if this forced service causes them to drop out. And there are many who must work (distracting them from what they should be doing: studying). They can also drop out since they will no longer have time. There is a simple way of avoiding this requirement, dropping out. A major problem of our educational system is the high dropout rate. And there are many, many students just barely hanging on.  It should be a major aim of our society to keep children in school, to lower, vastly, the dropout rate. But the idea of forcing people to do something is so attractive that Sen. Dodd is trying to increase the number who drop out.

One reason he proposes this is that he performed service and enjoyed it. Of course he didn’t have the financial and other problems many students do. (His father was a senator.) Since he enjoyed it others will also. Obviously he will also enjoy what others do. There are many (but not nearly enough) who greatly enjoy research in mathematics. It is challenging and fascinating.  Since these people greatly enjoy mathematics so should Sen. Dodd. After he publishes a couple of papers in mathematics he can then say that because he enjoyed service, others will also.

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