Obama Will Require College, High School And Middle School Kids To Be Community Workers

Require.

community-service

The school district my kids are in, has required a certain number of community service hours in order to graduate for the past thirty years. The service is not centrally controlled by any state entity, and can be anything from volunteer work done through scouts, church, school tutoring, or any number of things, but the choice is left up to the kids. More hours served can translate to tuition grants at state colleges.

My impression of this rather benign program has always been that it was oxymoronic to “pay” kids or “force” kids to volunteer. Volunteerism is something to be encouraged, but not forced on people.

But as with everything else with Obama, the idea of a forced 50/100 hour requirement of community service on kids, by the Obama administration carries much more ominous overtones. In what sort of programs will our kids  be forced to work? Will it still be their choice? Who’s going to train them? Classroom Corps? Health Corps? Clean Energy Corps? Veterans Corps? What if the kids don’t want to do any of those things? What if they just want to clean up garbage on the roadside with the scouts? Do they get to bow out of these “Corps”? What if parents don’t want their kids involved in any of Obama’s service corps? What about home schooled kids?

Sweetness and Light sees the plan as nothing less than involuntary servitude:

Someone should tell Mr. Obama that Mr. Lincoln freed the slaves.

While they are at it, they should also tell this Constitutional scholar that the Constitution now forbids involuntary servitude:

Amendment XIII

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

I suspect there will be a court challenge before Obama’s plan is pushed through.

Claudia Rosett nails it:

Obama has called repeatedly upon America’s people to sacrifice. What’s not yet clear is whether this will entail sacrifice in the common defense of liberty, or whether it is liberty itself that will step by step be sacrificed in the name of the common good. If the latter, the implications are indeed world-changing. For the past century, America has stood as the world’s great bulwark of freedom. That can no longer be taken as a given. Americans will be hard pressed to support freedom elsewhere if they do not protect it at home.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

UPDATE:

Acres Of Independence has scooped the blogosphere!:

Change was the Mantra of the Obama campaign, and within 12 hours, the office of the president-elect has already changed the language on their AMERICASERVES website from requiring community service to setting a goal for community service. Already the mandate is softening.

Jeez Louise. How many more scares is he going to put us through?

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29 Responses to “Obama Will Require College, High School And Middle School Kids To Be Community Workers”

  1. Educator for Change Says:

    I think it should be a graduation requirement and should be forced on every school as part of the curriculum. It’s not encouraged in every school-especially the “under-served” schools that are mentioned. That’s what’s wrong with these children today is that they don’t understand the value of helping others. People are so negative. I honestly think it’s an excellent move if executed effectively. Our children need to learn service as much as they need to know english and math. It educates them on a different level-and level that no one wants to take them too because they’re too lazy and caught up in their own lives and issues. And if it doesn’t affect you personally-get over yourself and think about the education of our youth. There’s a lot of “involuntary servitude” going on in this country that we don’t realize. If you’ve been paying attention to life in America any other time, you’d have seen it. This is actually a positive change.

    Like

  2. geoff Says:

    That’s what’s wrong with these children today is that they don’t understand the value of helping others.

    Eh, it’s in the top 10 list, but it is certainly not the foremost fault of kids today. And it is certainly not worth the violation of constutional rights. I’ve often thought that most kids could benefit mightily from a couple of years in the military. They’d learn discipline, compassion, responsibility, civic duty and a useful skill or two. But it’s just a fantasy – there’s no way I’d advocate mandatory service in the military. You wouldn’t, either, even though it’s as valid approach as Barack’s feel-good, flower-picking proposals.

    And if it doesn’t affect you personally…

    Now I’m confused – I thought you wanted us to help others. But here you’re telling us not to worry about it if it doesn’t affect us.

    There’s a lot of “involuntary servitude” going on in this country that we don’t realize.

    And so the right direction for change is…? More servitude?

    Not to mention that I doubt that your definition of “involuntary servitude” coincides with ours.

    Like

  3. nicedeb Says:

    That person was an educator? Using logic like that?

    I have six kids. All of whom would be effected by this, and I promise you. Not one of them is going to be forced against his will to work in any of Obama’s corps.

    Like

  4. Bruce Says:

    As I just said on JAWA, my sons high school also came up with a plan like this in order to graduate. I informed the principal that my son would not comply, since he had responsibilities at home due to my health issues and needing to be available at any time. I also told him he could expect a court challenge on 13th Amendment grounds if he denied my sons graduation.

    The school board saw the error of their ways.

    Like

  5. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Says:

    Yaknow, I sat and listened for almost 8 years to a boorish and crass self-appointed liberal intelligencia lecture and berate on how Bush was the dumbest man to ever walk the planet, and how he just couldn’t help himself. Then I read our Dear Leader’s snippet above, and I’m having some trouble reconciling :”When you choose to serve…” with “…by developing a plan to require…”

    Where is that self-appointed intelligencia, entitle to critique and belittle 24/7 without having the courage to take on such responsibilities for themselves? I don’t hear the arbiters of Presidential Intellect addressing this clear failure to present intellectual manna.

    Like

  6. Educator for Change Says:

    I’ve often thought that most kids could benefit mightily from a couple of years in the military. They’d learn discipline, compassion, responsibility, civic duty and a useful skill or two. …

    Geoff..have you served in the military? In Iraq or Afghanistan? If so, how long ago? I’m wondering what military you’ve served in to have experienced these things or to have these ideas that that’s what our military teaches. Maybe the military 10 years ago taught these things, but not now. If you question my credentials on that-I am both a mother and a military wife with many friends, family, and acquaintences that can all attest to what the military actually teaches you.

    and nicedeb..I am both a mother and an educator. our children do need to learn service…do you live in the inner city or in an area where there are “under-served” youth, or have you ever experienced these schools? Have you ever done any community service? Many children nowadays (inner city or not) don’t even have proper manners and are very self-serving. It’s a sad sight. I commend those parents who instill the qualities of good manners and helping others in their children because mamy don’t. They need to learn how to help others. It will help them help themselves better in the end. And if you read it right and paid attention to the whole message, it wasn’t that they would have to serve in a corp as a requirement-that’s just saying that those things would be developed for the option of those that chose them-just as they have been-but that community service: such as helping out at Harvesters or helping to repair a community or volunteering somewhere in order to HELP REBUILD THE COMMUNITY or LEND A HELPING HAND to an organization that needs it-would be required given a certain amount of hours. Take in the whole picture rather than selective absorption for total understanding.

    Final note: I realize after further observation of the blog site that I am posting on a total Anti-Obama site of people who only bring up his measures to nit-pick and complain about the things he’s doing that you don’t like-therefore I understand the selective absorption and the expression of your opinions and respect them.

    Like

  7. Educator for Change Says:

    As I just said on JAWA, my sons high school also came up with a plan like this in order to graduate. I informed the principal that my son would not comply, since he had responsibilities at home due to my health issues and needing to be available at any time. I also told him he could expect a court challenge on 13th Amendment grounds if he denied my sons graduation.

    The school board saw the error of their ways.

    Health issues at home is a provisional understanding.

    Like

  8. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Says:

    therefore I understand the selective absorption and the expression of your opinions and respect them.

    After nearly 8 years of nothing but “selective absorption” from a hostile media, and a disloyal opposition, I understand more about the concept than you could hope to relate to me in a thousand lifetimes. Please spare us the pseudo-intellectual condescension. I’d wager I have earned a higher degree of intellectual certification than you have, and in the unlikely chance that I have not, I can still do without you peering down your nose at me.

    Like

  9. nicedeb Says:

    Nit pick?

    He’s going to force upon the masses involuntary servitude (per his own website) in civilian corps, not of our choosing, and with his background in radical community organizing/agitation/ ACORN, and his other radical associations, we’re not allowed to be a little bit suspicious as to what exactly will be going on?

    I don’t feel like I’m nit picking.

    Like

  10. geoff Says:

    Geoff..have you served in the military?

    Yes, I and my dad, my wife, her dad, her brother, my brother-in-law, and her brother-in-law all served in the military. One brother-in-law is still in. Her brother taught at West Point until a couple of years ago, so I know quite well what the military is teaching at that level.

    In Iraq or Afghanistan?

    Nope. I’m a Cold War vet.

    that can all attest to what the military actually teaches you.

    Why don’t you tell us what that is. I’m very curious to learn about you and your husband’s experiences, since they obviously differ from everybody I know.

    Many children nowadays (inner city or not) don’t even have proper manners

    I don’t see how this bears on the topic, unless you’re recommending a mandatory curriculum in manners. Most adults today don’t have proper manners either, so it’s a bit much to ask the kids to pick them up.

    that’s just saying that those things would be developed for the option of those that chose them

    It is true that his campaign web site describes the program as you do. But that conflicts with the statements above from the Change.gov site, which is supposedly the current official site for the President-Elect. Which do we believe?

    ****************

    Of course, what it always comes down to is the traditional divide between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives have a long tradition of promoting community service, but through the private sector via churches, clubs, youth organizations, corporations We like the responsibility, flexibility, and focus of the private sector. My family, for instance, already does a lot of community service work.

    Liberals, on the other hand turn to legislation to fix these problems.

    Conservatives don’t like that, both because it expands the bureaucracy, and takes responsibility away from individuals. And we don’t really see the problem: our kids are doing fine as things are.

    And the bottom line is that if the problem is poor parenting, as you’ve claimed, then you should try to fix that. Don’t create burdensome programs to fix the symptoms. If you’re going to create a burdensome program, at least address it toward the real issue.

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  11. nicedeb Says:

    If he’s merely requiring a benign form of the programs we already have in many schools, that’s one thing.

    But it doesn’t sound like that. It sounds like something more centrally organized…..and um, objectionable.

    Like

  12. geoff Says:

    I see that I left a hanging sentence up there. Ah well.

    Like

  13. V the K Says:

    Our school district just dropped that lame-ass requirement. Why? Because most of the kids met it by throwing a party, charging admission, donating the proceeds to some charity (or more often to their own class) and claiming it took 50 hours to organize the party.

    That’s what my son did.

    Like

  14. Conservative Belle Says:

    Wow. I can’t believe this post. And the comments… Ick.

    How many pilots in our transportation system learned their skills in the military? What about air traffic controllers? Oh, the list goes on and on… But why bother with logic and reason?

    Nicedeb, please break out the banhammer.

    Like

  15. Bertie Says:

    Mandatory volunteerism, stifling dissent with the “Fairness Doctrine,” when did words stop meaning what they mean?

    My mind is seriously boggled.

    Like

  16. wilsonrofishing Says:

    Educator for Change

    I deeply disagree with your worldview, on all kinds of levels.

    Let’s start with your take on service in today’s military. I serve in the military, and have served my country in Afghanistan, twice now. Military service instills in people a great deal of respect for others, self respect, discipline, and yes, compassion. During my 17 plus years on active duty, I have planned and executed medical and veterinary clinics for people in developing countries and combat ravaged areas where people had no access to health care or medicine, assisted with humanitarian demining efforts, and assisted with efforts to build schools and repair infrastructure.

    I found your comment about today’s military, deeply offensive. I cannot fathom how you can hold military service right now, while our nation is at war with such disdain. Especially as a military wife; my own wife has volunteered countless hours helping military families in our unit while we were deployed, and assisting families when there were casualties and deaths. THe family support groups in our units often helped my wife and kids out as well, especially during a deployment when my wife was facing a pregnancy alone.

    Are you really a military wife, right now, while our nation is at war? Maybe your husband is in a really sorry unit or something, in which case he should try to get the heck out of there and get to a place where Soldiers and their families watch out for one another. Email me if you would like, and I will try to help your husband’s unit “get right”.

    Or maybe you are stretching the truth a bit? I would love to hear more about how horrible and uncaring your so-called family members find today’s military, too.

    OK, on to your strong feelings about mandatory service. I am not going to willingly cede one minute of freedom for me, my children, or any other American, and that is exactly what a service mandate would do.

    And as for being an educator, I find your comment about manners being as important as English or Math, uh, surprising. We currently live in Northern Virginia, close to D.C. 15 of the kids in my son’s 2nd grade class leave the class for up to an hour a day for English as a second language. They would probably benefit more from an extra 30 hours a year or more of English and Math study than some dubious, bureaucratic social engineering program. It is much easier to have manners if you have the requisite skills to get a good education and a decent paying job, at least in a capitalist, free market society, and we still are one of those, right?

    I know my rant is a bit snarky, but educator, I found your comments to be over the top, especially your characterization of the military. Come down to a funeral some time at Arlington cemetery and watch the comrades of a fallen Soldier close ranks around the family, and you will get a good feeling for exactly the caliber of people serving in today’s military.

    By the way, I blogged on the subject of compulsory service earlier today here</.

    Cheers!

    Like

  17. Bruce Says:

    “I am both a mother and an educator. our children do need to learn service”

    Here we go – another Ultimate Moral Authority.
    It might interest this person – though I suspect not – that a majority of those on the right have either served in the military, are still serving in the military, or have family that has or is serving in the military or some other organization that serves the country and/or their community – like cops, firemen, EMT’s, etc. Hell – include doctors and nurses, even.

    Now tell me what or how those on the left “serve” their community or country. Go ahead – double dog dare ya.

    Oh wait … I forgot … “educators”. (indoctrinators)

    Like

  18. nicedeb Says:

    I’d *like* to hear more about Educator’s views of the military.

    Like

  19. geoff Says:

    I don’t think she’s coming back. If she really is a teacher, she was probably blogging from work, so she won’t be back until Monday. But I really don’t expect to see her again.

    Like

  20. wilsonrofishing Says:

    I saw another post related to this community service thing somewhere else today that had a great point; many taxpayers already pay the equivalent of like 12 weeks a year of their earned wages to the govt in the form of taxes. That is in effect a community service, right!

    And then I thought about a cap and trade system.

    You could put lipstick on this thing with some kind of “cap and trade” structure for tax payers and people who want to go over the top and work like 500 hours a year instead of just 50. With a cap and trade system, I could transfer one weeks’ worth of my paid taxes to my neighbor next door, so he doesn’t have to empty bedpans or pass out needles, or registering people to vote, and can instead spend an extra 30 hours this year at his place of workearning a living. or register people to vote 50 times or something. Or I could have my son work 100 hours at the local methadone clinic, so that my daughter can spend an extra 50 hours at soccer camp.

    That would not only be win win, but it would allow some freedom of choice, maintain the spirit of the whole volunteerism thing, connect neighbor to neighbor. . .

    Like

  21. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Says:

    Or we could simply suggest to these folks that if they feel so strongly that paying more taxes is patriotic, and that compulsory voluntary service is good for the soul, they could always prove it to us by leading by example. It is always so interesting to see what happens when that offer is made. Suddenly, the “virtues” they keep touting with our money and time don’t seem quite so appealing.

    Like

  22. Bruce Says:

    “Health issues at home is a provisional understanding.”

    Oh really? Says who? Direct me to a cite, please.

    Like

  23. Should Americans Be Required to Serve? Update = Probably Not! « Acre of Independence Says:

    [...] accessible by the entire internet community is worth .5 AMERICASERVES credits? Also, check out my plan for the AMERICASERVES Cap and Trade [...]

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  24. Orman Says:

    Great idea and very traditional. After all, during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars one could purchase a substitute (pay someone else to take one’s place) for military service.

    Like

  25. nicedeb Says:

    I have no idea what that has to do with what Obama says he plans to do.

    Like

  26. Alice H Says:

    Hang on to that screenshot, Deb, as it appears that the word ‘requirement’ is being scrubbed as fast as their panicked little fingers can manage it.

    Like

  27. nicedeb Says:

    I know. I’ve already updated.

    Like

  28. A Version Of Obama’s Civilian Service Corps Approved By House « Nice Deb Says:

    [...] then, right after he was elected, he raised eyebrows again with this audacious change.gov “Office of the President Elect” website post: Obama will [...]

    Like

  29. It’s Ba-ack: Obama’s Mandatory Civic Service Act « Nice Deb Says:

    [...] Obama Will Require College, High School And Middle School Kids To Be Community Workers [...]

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