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  1. #1
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    Mar 2010
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    Default Public High School Withholding Diploma

    My question involves education law in the State of: Oklahoma
    My son's public high school states that as a senior, he must complete 5 hours of community service before spring break in order to graduate. I don't have a problem with community service. I do have a problem with coercion and his diploma being held as ransom.
    I will point out that this requirement is for all seniors and not my son as an individual.
    Is it legal for a public school to withhold a diploma for something like this?
    Thanks for any information.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,864

    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    as long as that is part of the curriculum, then he has to do the duty to get the booty.

    Do you consider the 2 or 3 or 4 years of English he had to take as coercion? What about the several years of math classes?

  3. #3
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    I will point out that this requirement is for all seniors and not my son as an individual.
    Then where's the problem? If you don't fulfill all of your graduation requirements, you don't get to graduate.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    5 hours of community service can be completed in a single afternoon.

    It ain't like he has to build a water purification system for the Moobooboo tribe.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    Thanks for the replies.
    A)
    Do you consider the 2 or 3 or 4 years of English he had to take as coercion? What about the several years of math classes?
    No. The educational requirements of English,Math & Science are why he's in school. ALL of the kids are there for an education. I don't consider community service to be vital to his public education in school. If it were, they should have a class for it.
    B)
    If you don't fulfill all of your graduation requirements, you don't get to graduate.
    So does this mean that a public school can think up anything they want to whether it's political, religious, something within their personal moral parameters, or whatever they deem necessary and can withhold a diploma if a student doesn't comply? This is a public school. Not a private one.
    C)
    5 hours of community service can be completed in a single afternoon.
    It ain't like he has to build a water purification system for the Moobooboo tribe.
    As I stated, I don't have a problem with community service. It's not about that. I have a problem with him being forced to do something under the threat of not graduating after 12 years of going to school. I have a problem with someone forcing their agenda on me and holding something very important (diploma) as ransom. How about a different, more positive tactic like giving extra credit for doing the service and raising the kids' GPA instead of the strong-arm method? Why does it have to be mandatory? It looks like free labor for the town (a very small town at that) to me. And hey, he MIGHT just have to be building a water purification system for the Moobooboo tribe! Apparently whatever they think up is what goes.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    38,864

    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    and you do not believe he will gain something from the experience? He will not be more educated by doing this?


    part of the education a school prefers to endow upon a student is more than simply learning to read and write. A well rounded student fairs better in life than one who was simply taught the basics.

    as I said, if this is part of the established curriculum, then yes, he has to do it. It would be the same as if he didn't fulfill his math requirements.

    Honestly, if you raised your child with the attitude you display here, this very small time spent in community service will do him a world of good.


    btw: colleges like students that are active in things such as community service. It shows they have depth and are not simply a computer sucking in and processing data and spitting out answers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    Wow. I regret trying to explain my point of view. Was it really necessary to slam me for it?
    Honestly, if you raised your child with the attitude you display here, this very small time spent in community service will do him a world of good.
    As for being educated by it and becoming "well rounded" from it, he's scheduled to pick up trash around a parking lot and alongside the road.
    As for having depth, he's been in sports since the 3rd grade, he's on the academic team and goes to the vocational technical school in the afternoon.
    Thanks for your time. I won't take up any more of it. I've already wasted enough of mine here. It was a mistake to come here.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    Quote Quoting summer10
    View Post
    As for being educated by it and becoming "well rounded" from it, he's scheduled to pick up trash around a parking lot and alongside the road.
    Perfect. Then he won't enter adult life being one of the people who create such eyesore for the whole community. Consider it a course in citizenship.

    As for having depth, he's been in sports since the 3rd grade, he's on the academic team
    More good choices. Learning team work and leadership skills is just as important - and advancing in academics is certainly the major focus of public education, but citizenship is just as important, and in fact is actually a full course in some schools - requiring much more than 5 hours.

    and goes to the vocational technical school in the afternoon.
    So he's NOT planning to be a professional athlete...

    Bottom line? The school board, made up of officials elected by the community, or in some places appointed by officials elected by the community, can set that standard, so long as it applies to everyone. Grievances should be directed to the school board and/or your elected county officials, your local PTA, and your state's board of education (who approves curriculum).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    Quote:
    If you don't fulfill all of your graduation requirements, you don't get to graduate.
    So does this mean that a public school can think up anything they want to whether it's political, religious, something within their personal moral parameters, or whatever they deem necessary and can withhold a diploma if a student doesn't comply? This is a public school. Not a private one.
    No, it means that the community in which you live has decided that it is important for kids to learn to give back to their community, in the form of service, so the school board has made this part of the mandatory curriculum.

    As Catherine notes, it is well within the rights of your school board - who you vote for! - to establish this. If people find this problematic, school board meetings are open to the public, and it can be addressed there.

    I'm still not understanding your complaint. It's 5 hours of doing something for his community. Our district requires 50, and we've heard no complaints. The kids really dig helping out the community, and it's good for them to practice good citizenship.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    supratentorial region
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    818

    Default Re: Public High School Withholding Diploma

    Quote Quoting LawResearcherMissy
    View Post

    I'm still not understanding your complaint. It's 5 hours of doing something for his community. Our district requires 50, and we've heard no complaints. The kids really dig helping out the community, and it's good for them to practice good citizenship.
    I agree! Our district requires 75 hours by spring break of senior year. The kids are permitted to start community service hours in 7th grade.

    Five hours is an afternoon in a soup kitchen...mowing the grass or running errands for an elderly neighbor....mentoring younger students....heck, our district even permitted the hours spent practicing/performing in a community orchestra. One is permitted to be creative.

    Your son should expect to be responsible for completing the requirments that I'm sure were well known before he started high school? If Junior is to believe that he is so important that the requirements change just for him, I can't wait to see what happens when he's out in the real world.

    Ok...that's my 2 cents. Have a good day everyone.

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