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Do you think high school students should have to participate in an interview, community service and get three character references to graduate, as they do in Newton?

Asked at Checkers Foods, 2300 La. on March 14, 2005

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Photo of Megan Duncan

“I think that it would be beneficial to them to give them some real world experience. I think it can only benefit them.”

Photo of Jacob Raines

“Yes, I would say that sounds good. I think it would be good for the community, and maybe some of the kids would continue to give back to the community.”

Photo of Major Edwards

“I don’t think so. We haven’t done it in the past. Why add stress into their lives? They have enough as it is.”

Photo of Denise Posey

“I don’t think so. They’re not interviewing for a job. Character is something you learn from your parents or from life experience. It’s not part of the educational curriculum.”


Larry 13 years, 3 months ago

No - in addition to meeting the course requirements, additional requirements should include passing the state math, science, social studies, reading and writing assessments with a score of proficient or better.

Richard Heckler 13 years, 3 months ago

What's the objective? There is also a potential lawsuit on the table which tells me everyone is not so warm to the idea.

If a student wants to participate let them go for it...I would not eliminate the program.

lunacydetector 13 years, 3 months ago

no, this would be used to bilk the taxpayer out of even more of our hard earn dollars. all the schools want is money and all they ever get is more money, and the grades remain the same.

do you think high school teachers should have to participate in an interview, community service and get three character references to be employed? Why yes, after they ackowledge and develop a screening program to weed out the countless pedophiles.

staff04 13 years, 3 months ago

kns-- Right on. The first thing that came to my mind was "what about the gay kid?" Who in Newton (or any other community in Kansas besides Lawrence) is going to sign a character reference for a gay kid?

madcow 13 years, 3 months ago

I do not think that they should have to have interviews and all that crap to graduate. A lot of the kids will not be able to do it.

I do like the idea of a "student project", like the one they had at some high schools (before people bitched about it and had it removed). I did one, it was not that hard, and if you cant do ONE major project in high school, then you dont deserve a diploma.

bleeding_flower 13 years, 3 months ago

I also did a senior project in high school. It was the best thing that happened to me. It made me realize that what I always thought I wanted to do with my life wasn't for me. It does but extra pressure on you, but it makes you appreciate going to college more. Unfortunately people bitched about it and they took it out the year after I graduated. However I don't think that they should require you to be interviewed or have character references to graduated. That is just rediculous. That is not going to help you graduate. But I do like the idea of community service. Acutally I think that everybody should do that. I do it twice a month. It makes you feel good about yourself and your community.

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

I think that students should be required to do something. Maybe not community service, but something that benefits society in general. As a high school student, I see many people who just drift through school, not doing anything but take up space and time and money. I think you should get those students somewhere else, so the people who actually try can have a better oppotunity to succeed. If you require students to do a minor project as a sophomore, it will weed out the slackers who only drag down the entire school system. Then require seniors to do a larger project to get the diploma at graduation. If they don't do it, then they can't walk. Also count it as a grade in whatever class it corresponds to the greatest.

By the way- I am not yet a senior, and what type of projects did you people have to do?

brainfodder 13 years, 3 months ago

Lunacy- Teachers do have to do these things. 1. Teachers interview for jobs: they're not automatic. Many are turned down. 2. Teachers have to provide references. And transcripts, and teaching credentials, and evaluations from previous jobs. 3. Every teacher does at least a semester of student teaching, for which the student teacher is not paid. That's community service right there. In addition, follow a teacher for a week and find out how many hours they work without pay (community service again).

As for the money, read the recent journal world articles to find out how much of a raise the teachers have had in the past three years. It doesn't keep up with property tax increases, cost of living increases, or local salary averages. And the Lawrence scores on tests have improved, as you can see if you visit for all of the data that proves it.

And as for the pedophile screening, every district employee in Lawrence is fingerprinted and run through a background check. Short of mind reading, there's little else that can be done to catch the perverts first. If you have a good solution, please present it, as schools will dive on the opportunity to protect our kids.

Please, if you are going to rant, at least do so with some information.

Redneckgal 13 years, 3 months ago

Yeah lets make it harder yet for them to graduate! That makes a whole lot of sense. If they have completed the required courses successfully they should be able to graduate on time without any futher added bulls**t.

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

brain fodder- Exactly! i don't mean to offend anyone here(unless you are one) but thats all the hippie liberals of Lawrence do. Point out the obvious problems and offer no solutions. I love this town.

kns- ???

Redneckgal- I assume that you are not in HS at the moment. Because if you were, you would know that it isn't all that hard to graduate. Just turn in your damn homework and don't go home and smoke pot all night, and you'll pass.

acg 13 years, 3 months ago

I get so tired of hearing people say that liberals are automatically hippies (masterblue). I've never lived in a van, followed the Dead, not showered for days on end. I don't wear sandals with socks or tie dye nor is any of my clothing made out of hemp. It's extremely insulting. From now on when I refer to republicans I'm just going to call them bible thumping bigots. See how nice that is? Actually, when you get right down to it there's a ring of truth to that, isn't there? Offended, aww what a shame.

Janesays 13 years, 3 months ago

Has anybody here ever met a Mennonite, or been to Newton? I grew up in Newton and while not a member of a Mennonite church I had several friends who were. Do not rush to such quick judgement. The Mennonite community is quite open minded and leans to the left on most political issues. Also, does the article say that those interviewing the students are all Mennonites? Newton has a diversified religious community, and I bet there are even some gay people there too.

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

Umm, acg, I am not offended. Was I supposed to be? I go to church, and I have morals. Is that a bad thing?

simple_simon 13 years, 3 months ago

Sure, Jane, I bet there are gays living there too! But the big question is...Are the gays that are living in that area being forced to walk around in public with a big, scarlet-colored "G" on their chest??

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

Ohh, I just thought of something funny. In my post above, I said I don't want to offend anyone "Unless you are one" so since you are offended, doesn't that make you a liberal hippie?

acg 13 years, 3 months ago

No being a liberal doesn't make me a hippie. Nor does being a republican make you a bible thumping bigot. Do you get my meaning? Probably not because you're one of those, I've noticed, that can't post without generalizing and stereotyping. I don't think you have to talk down to everyone because they think differently, or more liberally than you do. Obviously you feel that you should, and for that I'm sorry for you. FYI, according to Webster, that old smarty, a liberal is one who is tolerant, broad minded, favoring reform or progress. Since when is that a bad thing? Oh no, let's not have any progress at all. As a matter of fact, let's insult everyone who's wishes for a change. Actually, in thinking about it, and seeing what's going on statewide, that seems to be the climate in Kansas these days. Go ahead, push your "moral" agenda on the rest of us. I just rest easy in the knowledge that in 14 months and 12 days I'll be out of here, living where people are allowed to be themselves. Yay!!!

Ember 13 years, 3 months ago

Interviews? Personal recommendations? Are they graduating high school or trying to sign a lease for a new apartment?

MasterBlue, a 131 Intelligence Quotient actually isn't all that impressive, since the national average is reportedly in the neighborhood of 120-125. I test at roughly 180, but then again, I have a nearly photographic memory. Acing the S.A.T. or the A.C.T. is something to brag about, not a barely above average IQ score.

Community service for student loans? Give me a break. How about dropping the price of college education instead. K.U. is a bare minimum of $4,000 per semester.

When is a high school senior supposed to actually find the time to work on this community service project, anyway? My weekends were tied up with R.O.T.C. and studying for tests. Same for the weekdays as well.

Ember 13 years, 3 months ago

Also, while I'm here, where should this community service be done before aquiring the financial aid for college? In the home town, where they won't be, or the college town, where won't be for prolly the summer sessions?

What if you change colleges? Do you have to perform another community service?

How about stopping and thinking before we hit the enter button, folks. It's a terrible stretch of the imagination, I know, but I've heard of crazier ideas.

italianprincess 13 years, 3 months ago

My son does enough while hes a junior at Free State right now and I don't feel he should have to do any of the above in the question for the day.

Hes an A/B student, has a job after school and plays baseball in the Spring and Fall for Holcom. He played ball for Free State as a freshman and sophmore, but decided he would rather work then practice everyday. Hes in three clubs at school and his accounting teacher is lining up an internship for him at a bank or law firm for his senior year.

He works to pay his own car insurance and repairs to the car I gave him for his 16th B-day ( I bought a new one for me ) and also pays for his own gas.

I believe at 16 1/2 thats enough for a kid to handle and as a parent I would argue about the thought if the schools we to require this for graduation.

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

acg- your leaving? YES!! I love it when liberal hippies like yourself leave the country. I just hope that you enjoy living... Wait, would you mind stating where you intend on moving to? Just so I can bash that country, if you don't mind.

acg 13 years, 3 months ago

No one said I was leaving the country you idiot. I'm moving out of state. You're a moron and a hateful jerk. I'm sad for you. :(

MasterBlue 13 years, 3 months ago

Ohh!! Sorry, but usually when liberal hippies like yourself say they are leaving, they mean a different country. Besides, where else is there such a liberal environment in the entire country? Nowhere, because this is the most liberal place on the face of the planet. It is filled with unappreciative stoners. And as for the moron comment, my IQ is 131 and I have straight A's, no A-'s, either. What did you do in HS?

acg 13 years, 3 months ago

Oh grow up you freak of nature. My only point is you do not have to insult people when posting. Apparently, regardless of your straight A's in High School (which we all know is sooooo important) you haven't grown up enough, learned enough or matured enough to understand that. So, leave me alone. Don't address me anymore. I don't need insults from losers like yourself. Good Day. No, I said Good Day!

rosiegirl202 13 years, 3 months ago

I am a senior in high school right now and if I had to do any of that on top of everything else that involves being a senior I would be so stressed out. Sure it wouldn't hurt but it would add a lot of uneeded tension and stress. Honestly to do community service and interviews is more National Honors Society stuff, if you wanted to be an outstanding student in the community then you have the option to do it through NHS. I dont think we should be forced.

emdeees 13 years, 3 months ago

masterblue, i am curious as to where you attend high school? i think you would get along well with an opinionated, close-minded junior brat i know at freestate. anyway, i actually think this is a great idea, but the interview and references shouldn't decide whether the student graduates or not. a grade is just a letter and it means next to nothing, and it would be a fine idea to put something that reflects who this person really is on their transcript. plus, most high schoolers adore talking about theirselves. however, i really doubt this will ever happen, because it is way too involved, and most people are satisfied with allowing one letter to represent hours upon hours of time spent in a class. as for the mennonite bashing, please stop. you all are being much worse than any simple pacifist with a deep love and need for divine spirituality could ever be. AND for the teacher screening...perhaps they should be more thorough, as i know of a particular assistant principal at freestate known for emotionally assaulting many students.

Grundoon Luna 13 years, 3 months ago

C'mon now! Lay off the Mennonites. My mother's family were Mennonite who left Switzerland because they were lableled as heretics, burned at the steak and beheaded for believing in Christ differently from those in power (the way things are going I think we're going to come full circle here in the old USA). They arrived here prior to the Revolutionary War ultimately buying their land grant directly from William Penn. While they chose to live plainly, they respected that others were welcome to chose to live the way they wished. A concept that appears to be pretty unpopular with those that run the show now. . . and many who post here, like . . . MasterBlue. Sounds like Hoofy's back with a new handle again. Lawrence the most liberal place in the country? You don't get around much do you? But that would fit your narrow mind. IQ of 131? Puh-leeeeeease!! Your juvenile posts show a great lack of vision and imagination, but heaps of hate and ignorance, bordering on stupidity. Dude, you'd be laughed out of Mensa. Keep on taking those internet IQ tests and I bet you may be able to get a point or two higher.

Curious 13 years, 2 months ago

Couldn't help but think of my dad on this one. My son was filling out a scholarship application and came to the question about community service. My son wasn't going to put down anything because he didn't think he should be rewarded for something he did for no reward.

My dad was listening in to our conversation as I tried to convince my son he needed to put it down to get the scholarship - no list, no scholarship. My dad said, "Put down that no judge has ever sentenced you to do community service." Big help! That is what my son wrote - needless to say, no scholarship from that source.

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