Document:California Press Release 13 April 1999 Libertarians Give F Grade to Proposed Graduation Requirements

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400 Capitol Mall, Suite 900
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 449-3941
For immediate release: April 13, 1999
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200

Libertarians give "F" grades to proposed student graduation requirements

SACRAMENTO -- Two new proposals that would increase the graduation burdens for high school and college students have received failing grades from the Libertarian Party of California.

Last Thursday, Governor Gray Davis announced a proposal to require community service as a condition of graduation for all students at state colleges and universities. Meanwhile, SB 1266 by Senator William Knight (R-Palmdale) would prohibit a high school from issuing a diploma to any 18-year-old males that have not registered with the Selective Service System.

"It's time to send our elected officials back to school," declared Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle. "A student should graduate on the basis of academic achievement. Mandatory volunteerism and forced compliance with federal law are unrelated to student grades and should be dropped from the equation.

"Obviously the governor is out of touch with college students. Many of them work part-time jobs, study full-time, and carry enormous student debt loans just to stay in school. The governor's plan will discourage students, create resentment, and may lower grades for some."

Besides, Hinkle noted, "You can't force volunteerism. The desire to help must come from within a person's heart, not be dictated by a bureaucrat."

SB 1266 is equally disturbing to Libertarians. "We oppose the Selective Service System on principle. But as long as it's the law, young men should learn self-responsibility and register on their own. They don't need the school watching over their shoulders."

The bill is unnecessary, Hinkle added, because males who do not register for the Selective Service already face harsh penalties. "Plus, the bill discriminates by creating a special condition for graduation that only applies to males."

SB 1266 would also require that students in government and civics classes "be taught about the importance of, and their personal responsibility to, selective service obligations." According to Hinkle, "That's taking a page out of a government propaganda textbook. It's very troubling.

"Young people have enough challenges of their own without the 'adults' in Sacramento throwing more hurdles in their way," said Hinkle. "The Libertarian Party of California gives Governor Davis and Senator Knight 'F' grades for their proposals. We suggest to California voters that the only fitting punishment for these big-government ideas is expulsion -- from public office."