Ever since it was first proposed, The Herald-Mail has supported the Student Service Learning program that requires high school students to do 75 hours of volunteer service prior to graduation. Previous generations accepted a far greater burden - the military draft - without whining. Furthermore, the educational benefit of seeing the community's needs firsthand outweigh any bogus claims of "involuntary servitude."
Unfortunately, that's not what's being proposed for the program now. With a plan to award hours for many in-school projects, Washington County officials hope to get middle schoolers all their hours before they even reach high school. We agree with William McKinley, director of secondary education, that this isn't how it was supposed to work.
McKinley and company have submitted a plan that would require students to earn at least 15 hours through individual service projects on their own. Not enough, we say. If anything, hours that can be earned on in-school projects should be limited to 15. We say this for two reasons.