The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Should SSL hours be required to graduate?

The+bin+for+students+to+turn+in+their+SSL+forms+is+located+in+the+counseling+office.+All+students+must+submit+the+form+to+get+credit+and+reach+the+75+hour+requirement.
Photo by Nataly Behnia
The bin for students to turn in their SSL forms is located in the counseling office. All students must submit the form to get credit and reach the 75 hour requirement.

Student Service Learning, or SSL, is a valuable way for students to give back to their communities and learn important life skills. MCPS required 75 SSL hours for each student in order to graduate. The question of whether or not high school students should be required to complete service learning hours to graduate has been a topic of debate for many years

Some students have very busy lives with classes, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs. Requiring service hours might add to students’ stress and take away the freedom for students to choose how they spend their time.
When service learning is mandatory, some students might participate without genuine interest, which takes away from the true spirit of community service. It is important for students to engage in service because they want to, not because it is required.
Additionally, not all students have the same opportunities for service learning. Requiring service hours might be harder for students from low-income backgrounds who struggle to find suitable opportunities, creating an unfair situation.
Requiring service learning could put a strain on community organizations. If too many students are required to volunteer, it might be hard for these organizations to manage and provide meaningful experiences for all students.

Additionally, high school should be a time for students to focus on their studies and prepare for their future. Requiring service hours might take away from the time they need to do well in their classes.

There are valid reasons for not requiring service learning hours for graduation at MCPS. Students should have the freedom to choose how they want to spend their time outside of classes. Mandating service hours might not always lead to authentic participation, and it can be challenging for students with busy lives or fewer opportunities.
It’s essential to find a balance that allows students to engage in community service voluntarily while also allowing them to focus on their academic success. The decision should be made with the best interests of the students in mind, so they can grow, learn and contribute to their community in a way that feels meaningful and genuine to them.

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About the Contributor
Nataly Behnia, Social Media Manager
Nataly Behnia is a Junior at WCHS and is one of the Social Media Managers. This is her third year taking journalism. Nataly enjoys reading books, hanging with friends and listening to Taylor Swift on her off time. Nataly is also on the varsity field hockey team for WCHS.

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