Do you think that public or private schools should take their students out of class and make their high school students do physical labor during school hours and with out parental consent, for no...

Do you think that public or private schools should take their students out of class and make their high school students do physical labor during school hours and with out parental consent, for no disciplinary act or school credit/recreation?

I attend a private christian school that is beginning to move to a different location across town. So in order to remove things from the building they, the principle and staff, took us out of class and made us move things to a truck, took us off campus, and made us empty the truck. now mind you private schools aren't cheap. My parents pay thousands of dollars for me to go to this school so I can get a good education in a non- public school environment. I really don't think that it is right for them to do this. They didn't get permission from my parents to take me off of campus and they took us out of six of our classes. And this has happened multiple times! Now I'm not like other students, who would be happy about this because I come to school to learn, not to be put to working physical labor. I am not getting any school credit for doing this, neither am I offering myself to do this. I don't want to.  I come to school to get an education. And when you take advantage of me by making me work with out my parents consent than I am concerned, especially since my parents pay for me to go to this school. Now I know that there has got to be some law against this. If you know of any please let me know. Our school's motto is, " If it's not illegal, immoral, or unsafe than do it". So if I can prove that this is illegal than I can get myself and the other students free from this laboring they are making us do. 

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While your parents probably do pay a lot of money to send you to the private school, the school has to charge what it does because it is not financed by tax dollars. So, while it might seem like the school could afford to hire laborers to do the work that you describe, it most likely cannot afford it because of all of the financial obligations it must meet simply to keep the school open.

Frankly, maybe your school administrators are requiring the work not only because it needs to be done for little or no cost but also because they want to instill a work ethic in you, something that would certainly be in line with "Christian" values. Additionally, you could try to think of the labor as PE which most students are sorely lacking in today's society.

If teachers took the notion that they were not going to do anything for their schools that did not seem to be academic-related or that they weren't getting paid for, the public and private school systems would collapse--and that's not an exaggeration!

As the previous posts stated, because you attend a private school, there is nothing illegal about what they are requiring you to do.

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since you mention that this is a Christian school, I would think that in addition to there being no general statutes or ordinances that would prohibit your working for the school, there would be a First Amendment problem if the government were to try to regulate such activity at your school because this would interfere with the practice of religion. 

As the previous responders have noted, what you are doing is a service to the community of your school, and I would think, since this is a school that promotes Christian values, you should be particularly pleased to have an opportunity to put your and the school's values into action. 

My own son attends an expensive private school, and students and parents frequently help with major projects, including fundraising, cooking, moving furniture, decorating classrooms, and transporting students on trips.  We all think this is a great idea, good for the students and the parents, and a good way of giving to the school community. And just think, if students and parents did not make these kinds of contributions, the tuition would probably be even higher! 

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Essentially what you are providing is a community service.  The school, besides saving money by having you and your friends do the work, is also having you contribute to the progress of the school.  While it may not be enjoyable, or you may not like to do this work, there is nothing illegal about it.

Now, if they were farming you out to businesses to do work they got paid for as a school, that would be different.  On the contrary to Pohnpei's statement above, I work in a public school, and we have students work for us when we need small jobs around the school done all the time.  Unpleasant for students, sometimes, but legal.

booksnmore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Have you expressed your feelings to the people in charge? It sure seems like some students would be jumping at the bit to take your place in order to get some time out of class. In a way it seems like they are honoring you by allowing you to serve the school; they must think of you as a responsible student, able to make up for lost time in class. Would you feel better if everyone was required to help...and you weren't singled out?

And in answer to your question...yes, I think students should do physical labor at school. I think the physical activity would refresh their brain. I know it sure does that for me!


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is not illegal.  To be blunt about this, you want to go to a private school, you pretty much have to go by their rules.  Even public schools can require volunteer work so there's no reason private schools can't require the same.

A public school probably wouldn't ask you to do this, but when you go to a private school you're expected to be a little more oriented towards the good of the school and a little less toward your own interests.

krishna-agrawala | Student

In my Opinion, making students engage in some physical activity including useful work, intended specifically for development of the students, in accordance with pre-defined education program is perfectly justified. But the incident described by cqnly in post #1 sounds very much like exploitation of the students to make them work as unpaid labourers against their will and without permission of their parents. If so, this is very much an unethical practice, and possibly an illegal act also.

epollock | Student

I would think that the values of the school are paramount, and if they feel that you should be out of class, then you should be out of class. Not everything the3y do is probably right, but to go to a religious school offers oneself the opportunity to value charity and humbleness.

nusratfarah | Student

Regarding the issue of taking the students out, I shall say, it is just a brilliant idea to take students sometimes outside the class if they are taken to a place where they would enjoy and learn at a time through traveling. But, of course, before starting, the students should be informed very carefully about where they are going and how much interest they will find there in a way as if it would be a pleasant, picnic-like journey, and after returning, teachers should ask them what lesson today they have gained. Even they can be given assignments or classwork to write down on the experience. Thus, the travel will not be a mere traveling outside, rather a useful tool for teaching purpose.