Forced Volunteerism is an Oxymoron

by | Jan 15, 2003

Last month the Palm Beach County School Board was once again considering mandatory volunteerism as a requirement for graduation from high school. Does no one on the Board understand that forced volunteerism is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms? Does no one on the Board further understand that forced volunteerism is unconstitutional (the Thirteenth Amendment […]

Last month the Palm Beach County School Board was once again considering mandatory volunteerism as a requirement for graduation from high school.

Does no one on the Board understand that forced volunteerism is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms? Does no one on the Board further understand that forced volunteerism is unconstitutional (the Thirteenth Amendment proscribes “involuntary servitude”)?

The Founding Fathers wrote a declaration of independence, not a mandate for servitude. Their credo was life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — the pursuit of one’s own happiness, not that of others.

It is certainly not immoral to volunteer to help someone. But forcing someone to do so is a violation of his or her personal freedom. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Nothing could so completely divest us of our liberty as the establishment of the opinion that the state has a perpetual right to the services of all of its members”.

Politicians today are fond of asking (or in this case, forcing) people to “give something back to society”. Well, we live in a society where nearly one-third of all high school seniors fail to meet minimum graduation requirements. If students were taught better reading, writing and thinking skills, thus paving the way to more productive careers, they, and by extension, society, would benefit immeasurably.

As for “giving something back” to parents who pay thousands of dollars in school taxes every year, how about if our School Board stuck to helping the children of those parents become better students, not better servants.

David Ragaini is a retired singer of television and radio commercials. He and his wife, Nicole, also a singer, recently recorded a CD of their favorite love songs from the golden age of popular music. They live in Florida.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

Have a comment?

Post your response in our Capitalism Community on X.

Related articles

Are the Democrats betraying Israel?

Are the Democrats betraying Israel?

Both Biden and his predecessor, President Barack Obama, promised that they had Israel’s back, but it now appears that they are painting a target on its back at a time of its greatest vulnerability.

No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.

Pin It on Pinterest