Montgomery County, Maryland students will get “service learning” credit for participating in an immigration rally today, reports the Washington Post. Students are on spring break so they won’t miss school for the rally.
Maryland students are required to put in 60 hours of community service to graduate from high school. They can undertake a number of activities — including working for political campaigns — as long as the work is done for a secular, nonprofit community organization that is tax-exempt and that school officials have approved.
. . . Students must complete a written assignment to be approved by their service learning coordinator. They receive one hour of credit for every hour spent on the activity, up to a maximum of eight hours in a 24-hour period.
Service mandates inevitably lead to conflict about what constitutes service. If political activity is service, then the rally seems fine to me. It does seem unfair that students can’t count volunteer work done for a church group.