Since the 90s there has been an even greater push for service as a result of federal incentives, thus engaging more students into the community, creating civic minded individuals (which can be dependent on the structure of the mandatory program).
When researching high school graduation requirements of community service, there are several terms that ought to be clarified, as they may be confusing.
As one whose school has developed such a requirement, I disagree.
The answer to "Does it help the beneficiaries of community service if students are forced to participate? The Jewish religion, along with others, requires its adherents to perform acts of kindness. In an ideal world it would be wonderful were everyone to visit the sick, comfort the mourner and give charity because he or she wants to.
A high school education's purpose is not only to train young people academically and intellectually.
A primary purpose is also to develop ethical, responsible, compassionate human beings. 4, 1992 The writer, a rabbi, is principal of the Ramaz School in Manhattan.
Schools are encouraging students to include service as part of their school experience.
To the Editor: "True 'Service' Can't Be Coerced" (editorial, Aug.
2) questions the validity of Maryland's mandating community service for high school students as a requirement for graduation.
While this seems like an admirable trend, in terms of inculcating civic virtue and promoting the importance of giving back, there is a very fair objection to be made: if you make volunteering mandatory, is it still volunteering?
Without getting too deep into the Kantian ethical weeds regarding the relative importance of intentions versus results, I think we can say that, especially for minors, some amount of coercion to do the right thing (in the hopes that such actions will be repeated without pressure in the future) is acceptable. As every parent knows, if we were really under some burden to explain why they had to do everything we make them do, we wouldn’t get very far.