Persuasive Essay On Mandatory Public Service

902 Words4 Pages
Mandatory Public Service: Unfit for Schools Former President Theodore Roosevelt said, “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” In other words, Roosevelt is saying that making America an admirable country requires dedication. Americans most commonly improve society by volunteering in their communities. In fact, some schools are beginning to adopt community service as a required component in their curriculum, using it as a teaching tool for young citizens. However, the topic of mandatory public service is widely debated. Although obligatory volunteer service has benefits, the idea as a whole is contradictory, as students are already expected to be responsible…show more content…
In fact, the purpose of school is to educate knowledge and responsibility for future jobs and community positions. So, schools offer a plethora of activities for diverse student bodies. Nearly 80% of students participate in extracurriculars, and 57% of students have activities outside of school every day (“Survey…”). Every student is different; therefore, a broad program should not be forced upon students, especially when diverse extracurriculars are already in place. Additionally, over a quarter of 16 to 19 year olds have jobs (“Unemployment Remains...”). Between extracurriculars, part-time jobs, and academics, young citizens are forced to learn about time management, patience, and hard work. Moreover, students already volunteer on their own. Organizations such as Student Council and the National Honors Society require that their members participate in school or community events. Public service hours also factor into college acceptances and scholarship awards. When students are already learning leadership skills by volunteering on their own, requiring extra volunteer hours can be easily mistaken as a punishment or chore. Most high schoolers have tight schedules. It is even more tasteless to enforce mandatory public service upon students because they are “disadvantaged” (Levine 639). Here, volunteerism sounds more like court-ordered community service than an educational opportunity. Students,…show more content…
One of the main drives behind volunteerism is to teach unselfishness and devotion to one’s country. However, the term “mandatory public service” is a blatant oxymoron, as this cartoon suggests. Such a curriculum does not teach the true meaning of service. It is simply another high school class which students must pass. In fact, the cartoon implies that a service-oriented program is almost pointless, as the first assignment is to change the name of the course so that it does not appear contradictory! Furthermore, these educational volunteer courses need major organization. Volunteer opportunities which are truly educational are lacking, and too few to supply a nation of high schoolers (Levine 639). As a result, some students are stuck performing “menial or make-work positions” (Levine 640). Is this type of volunteering really expected to inspire young adults? Levine’s article quotes Paul Light, who argues, “Young Americans want the chance to make a difference and learn new skills, not work in the back office stuffing envelopes” (640). If students are forced to complete jobs which are busy work, they are not going to be inspired. In fact, the curriculum might backfire and cause students to look upon volunteerism with dismay. The lack of organization, effectiveness, and educational opportunities illustrates that mandatory public service is a flawed

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