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:
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
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?