Required community service debated

Rosebelle Toledo, Reporter

Community service is becoming progressively common to many high schools across the United States, with schools encouraging students to include service as part of their school experience.

According to the New York Times, several school districts have recently mandated service as graduation requirement, while others have added courses that include service in the curriculum.

But the question of whether to mandate community service for Chanute High School students, especially seniors, has met many mixed responses.

CHS National Honors Society sponsor, Jill Stevenson, is one who approves of required community service.

“…I know there’s a lot of non-profit organizations, that if you want to work for them, you have to do so many community service hours before you can actually get paid. I know that Cherry Street does it too, and it’s a good thing,” Stevenson said.

However, as there are people for this change in graduation requisite, there are also many people who do not agree that community service should be required for seniors to graduate.

Leadership Service in Action teacher, Dustin Fox, is not a supporter of mandatory community service.

“Ideally community service should be something that you do because you want to, not what you do because you have to,” Fox said. “So, the idea of making it required is something I struggle with. I really believe it’s more effective and means more when the kids are choosing to do it, not being forced to do it.”

Sophomore Gabby Rutledge also disagrees with the idea of required service.

“I don’t think it should be required [to do service], but I think it would be a good thing for seniors to strive to have, like some kind of extra thing they can do,” Rutledge said.

While this idea creates a division of ideas amongst students and teachers, there is always an option to volunteer. CHS offers many opportunities for students to partake in community service through classes like 21st Century Skills and Leadership in Action, clubs, student government and sports teams.