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The Liberty High school board demanded that all its students undertake community service. All students were required to demonstrate that they have undertaken at least 60 hours of community service or other volunteerism work, failure to which they would not obtain their high school diploma (Steirer Par. 2). This requirement baffled Lynn and disturbed her immensely as she saw it as contradictory and going against the spirit of volunteerism, which should be explicitly voluntary. Lynn perceived the move as diminishing, rather than promoting the spirit of volunteerism.
These decisions by the board presented Lynn with a dilemma: should she subscribe to the program, or stay true to her principles, which itself is civil disobedience (Steirer Par. 3). For Lynn, volunteerism had always been a cherished attribute demonstrated for her extensive service as an aide in Meals on Wheels, Girl Scout, and other charity activities. The hundreds of hours she committed to the community were out of her own initiative rather than an obligation. Lynn undertook her community service but failed to submit her hours for credit, a decision that denied her a diploma.
According to her, staying true to her values was more fulfilling (Steirer Par. 6). Lynn and her parent believed that the requirement for volunteerism inculcates the wrong values, besides being unconstitutional. Lynn Steirer claimed that mandatory community service for high schools infringes on students’ rights and vitiates the notion of volunteerism by twisting it into an “involuntary servitude,” an affront on freedom.
Mandatory Community service is a privilege to volunteer and students bear a responsibility to contribute their talent, time, and energies towards the welfare of all, and give back part of the numerous concessions given by the community. First, communities gain significantly from the intelligence and the resourceful energies of high school students (Salamon 510).
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