High school students face new graduation requirement

Jay Harrison, Staff Reporter

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Students in Illinois face a new graduation requirement.

One semester of civics or government class was implemented into the twenty two credit hours for graduation starting this year. At Lake Park, students decipher between taking Civics in Action or AP Government, which carries a greater workload with it being an Advanced Placement class. The following requirement also goes on to say that a service project that displays civic duty is necessary.

Mr. Fulmer, curriculum leader and Advanced Placement government teacher, stated, “I can see the benefits of demanding civic exposure on the students. I would not even detest civic action in the form of protests. It would be good to see what the next generation of Americans stand for. Although, on the other hand, I can see how it is a violation of students’ rights to be apathetic, even though I personally don’t agree with such a position. But this kind of mandate is not irregular and can even be seen as tame where other democracies like Israel mandate military service, and the benefits are very clear.”

When asked about what spurred this legislation and why they chose now to do so, Fulmer said that the legislation “is the result of the swinging of the political pendulum. Within the last ten years there was a requirement that had seniors take a full year government class. The legislation was repealed because of poor response. But also with the current socio political climate of hyper partisanship show we need this class now more than ever.” Fulmer, however, emphasized the difficulty of choosing to take AP Government instead of Civics in Action. He states that “This class is not your grandpa’s government class. AP Government introduces students how to make a difference.”

There have been a variety of civic opportunities that have arose, including a food drive In Skokie, Illinois to raise awareness for the antisemitic attacks against Jews this last Hanukkah.

There were ten attacks this last December, one each night of Hanukkah. The hope is for more projects like these to arise as students continue to take this required course over the next years.