Middle School, High School and College Students:
REQUIRED to "Serve"
50 Hours for Middle, High School Students
100 Hours for College Students
Retirees Will Be "Encouraged" to Serve
The honeymoon might be over. The president-elect has indicated where his priorities lie.
With problems besetting the United States on any number of fronts, we think it is disturbing that one of the first items posted at Change.gov, the incoming president’s website, announces that students will be required to perform community service.
Not asked, not presented with a choice so parents can make a decision, but required.
DBKP had planned on reserving comment on the incoming Obama administration until it had actually taken power. We figured that regardless of differences, Barack Obama deserved the benefit of the doubt and a chance to propose policies before we criticized them.
The Obama president-elect’s website changed all that with the announcement–just three days after the 2008 election–that students will be "required" to "serve" and perform "community service".
From Change.gov (emphasis ours):
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in under served schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps.
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.
Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
We are against any compulsory government programs.
In times of existential national emergency–such as all-out war–we would be in favor of a military draft and other policies necessary for the survival of the USA. But, nothing is different today than three days ago.
It’s telling that serving notice that compulsory government service–for middle and high school students, no less–less than three days after the election results were known indicates this is a high priority for the incoming Obama administration.
We had hoped that the various things said on the campaign trail were just that: things all politicians say on the campaign trail. It appears that in the case of Obama Youth, Mr. Obama was serious.
We will oppose this will all our meager means available.
We also wonder if all of the Internet sites which posted "Bushitler" memorabilia the last eight years will go along with a government-mandated program which incorporates young students against their will-and the will of their parents, possibly.
A honeymoon was much preferred.
Regardless of who was proposing this, we would oppose it.
It’s a dangerous precedent, if it becomes reality.