Community Service as a Graduation Requirement Essay Example

  • Category: Education, School,
  • Words: 1162 Pages: 5
  • Published: 05 September 2021
  • Copied: 143

When searching the definition of community service, it explained that community service is a volunteer activity to help an area in need. Would community service remain voluntary if it were a requirement for high school graduation? Today, many struggling teenagers have difficulty allowing some time for themselves; A lack of time will lead to a lack of self-care and so many other spiraling personal issues. Students’ education plays a large role in their lives, as it sets a schedule and enforces uniforms like what they will experience after they graduate high school. High schools offer public speaking and speech classes that offer the same number of social skills that community service would require. It is more harmful to students to require community service as a condition of graduation, which could not motivate them for future voluntary services. When considering the little time students have for themselves, high schoolers should not have to complete community service as a condition of graduation. 

Most commonly, the people who complete community service are the people who want to help others in the area. These people take pride in their work, and they find some type of fulfillment in what they do for their community. When requiring teenagers to complete this type of work to graduate only lessens the value of community service itself. Gupta and Koenig declared that it could be insulting to those to take pride in their volunteer work. Is there a way to decipher who wants to be there, and who does not? The lack of work ethic and motivation could only drive the idea of community service down the drain. For young teenagers, students are obligated to do this type of service, but if they are not taking pride in their work, they are not learning anything from acts of community service. According to The Impact of High School Mandatory Community Service Programs On Subsequent Volunteering and Civic Engagement, “mandatory volunteer programs have the greatest negative effects on students who had previously been volunteers” (Pancer et al.). For students who enjoyed using their free time for volunteer acts, they lost motivation and now see the acts for the community as a bad thing. To conclude, the community service requirement to graduate is de-valuing community service and is putting a negative connotation surrounding the idea of it. 

In addition, high school students have lives; they are in sports, clubs, extracurriculars, and even jobs. These students are using the time they must do something that they enjoy doing while they are continuing to gain social skills. When considering these extracurriculars that take up most of student’s free time, the school board needs to consider the time they have left to study, and then the time they have left for themselves. If education comes first (and extracurriculars look good on college applications), why is there a constant need for forced community service hours? As determined by “Pro/Con: Should Student Service-Learning Hours Be Mandatory for High School Graduation?”, “It is unfair to students who have obligations outside school from graduation due to lack of time” (Gupta, Koenig). It seems as if the school would rather their students’ complete community service as a requirement of graduation than watch their students succeed at sports or jobs that could give them an opportunity after high school. “It is putting a huge demand on their schedules and homework, students reporting they are overwhelmed,” says Wilmore. These students are making connections with coaches, managers, and other peers that could give them chances in the future to do something that piques their interest; On the other hand, if students would want to complete the volunteer acts on their own, they would. For other students, they should not have to complete it when they are spending their time completing other activities beneficial to them and their future. 

These schools are not considering how these students will behave or conduct themselves when completing the hours. Many colleges value the student’s time spent for community service, but students are more focused on that than helping their community. The students would rather not complete community service, but colleges use it to determine acceptance. Although community service is a requirement, these students are still earning credit if they were not very hard working and rewarding bad behavior. During these community hours, students are rarely monitored, making it dangerous to others around them or those under their care. As explained in “Mandatory Community Service: Citizenship Education or Involuntary Servitude?”, “the requirement is a violation of the thirteenth amendment… caring cannot be mandated” (Anderson). These students will not be able to graduate and deprived of their rights if they stand up against the school to speak out. Finally, the lack of time for social lives, family, and school is what the requirement brings to each of these students, and it is simply not a volunteer act when it is forced upon these students wishing to graduate. 

On the other hand, some may view community service as more beneficial to students. Community service is available in many areas nearby and it is also open in many different fields to help others. The students could learn the responsibility of completing work and improving their social skills. Also, they can add more to their resume or college application, boosting their appearance to those viewing. They could also make connections with people in the outside world who may be helpful in the future. Together, these things can help each student make a connection in the future. 

Although many of these things listed are true for community service, they are also all true for any extracurricular or job a student wishes to take in high school. If a student is meeting new people in extracurriculars, they are learning social skills; if a student gets a job unrelated to high school, they can make connections. These students are learning responsibility by following the dress code, showing up to clubs or practice, and turning in their homework on time. Sports, activities, and clubs look great on college resumes; it allows the acceptors to understand you know about balancing priorities in your life to maybe one day take on college workload. There is not sufficient evidence as to why community service would be a requirement. Community service (outside of school requirements) can be completed at any time, yet making a passing GPA and enjoying high school sports cannot occur again. In high school, finding yourself is what is important; making memories and figuring out what the future holds in high school is key to creating a good life outside of school. With a community service requirement, students have no time to do any of these things or even make time for their own families. This precious time should not be something they have to sacrifice or allow community service hours to take time away from what is most important. 

Altogether, the value of community service should remain; its importance to society will give others a sense of purpose and dignity because their acts are not a requirement. A person may have learned other skills but lack many skills that are necessary for life, such as self-love, acceptance, and coping mechanisms, due to the requirement. The idea that time only passes by quicker as we get older is such an accurate depiction because of how much busier we get as adults. If community service is a priority, then it has always been an option to help the area; making it a requirement will only damper the idea of community service and will likely make it difficult for others to willingly complete it.


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