The reaction ranges from puzzled, to disappointed, to outraged. Some families are ready to boycott. I haven’t hit that point, but I’m confused.
The Subway restaurant chain is hosting a contest for school kids to write a story and win prizes such as gift cards to Subway. The stories must include one of its sandwhiches and are encouraged to include “random acts of fitness.” For the corporate gurus, it seems like a good public relations move. They’re promoting healthy eating and exercising habits among school children. They’re promoting goodwill among parents and educators (read: customers). They get good publicity for their contest.
So why the negative reaction?
They have specifically excluded homeschoolers from their contest. I expect the reason is that one of the grand prizes is a package of fitness equipment for the winner’s school, although clearly if a homeschooler won that particular prize, it could easily be designated to a group that the particular student was a member of or some other organization the student might have access to. I’m taking this opportunity to let Subway know how disappointed I am with their arbitrary discrimination based entirely on the location of a student’s classroom. Perhaps I’ll even use letter writing as a language arts assignment this week. J
Here is the link for the contest:
And here is the text of the rules:
Contest is open only to legal US residents, over the age of 18 with children in either elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted.
Here is a link for their customer service: http://www.subway.com/Applications/CustService/frmCustomerService.aspx if you want to send them your opinions.
This is my letter, submitted this morning:
I write to express my disappointment in your Every Sandwich Tells a Story competition. My school age children love to tell stories. Your contest provides a creative outlet for their writing skills with the added motivation of prizes and the bonus benefit of promoting thinking about healthy eating and exercising habits.
Unfortunately, your corporate policy specifically excludes my children from participating based entirely on the location of their schoolroom.
My children study and learn at home instead of in a government sponsored public school. Why would discriminate against them so arbitrarily?
In the USA, more than one million students learn at home. Put another way, there are more home school students nationwide than there are public school students in Wyoming, Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Montana, and Hawaii — combined. I know you wouldn’t host a contest and arbitrarily exclude kids from all these states. Besides being unfair, you wouldn’t want to alienate millions of customers. Why then do you exclude home schooled students?
I understand that you may mistakenly believe that the grand prize fitness package for the recipient’s school couldn’t be useful to a home school family. If a home schooled student won this particular prize, that portion of the prize could easily be designated to a home school group or other organization that the student belongs to/has access to.
Home school families desire physical fitness and healthy lifestyles in the same way families with public schools or private schooled children. A student is a student – regardless of where he receives his education. Each child is already a part of our society. Turning out the healthy individuals should be the goal of us all.
As a home schooler, I do not ask for special privileges or favors, merely the same opportunities to participate in worthwhile activities as every other family.
Pizza Hut, Braum’s and other fast food chains already include home schoolers in their educational promotions. It makes sense for you to do the same. Changing your policy to include home schooled families in your Every Sandwich Tells a Story is a win-win decision, allowing you to reach out and include a wider customer base, inspire more students to consider healthy habits, and show yourself a friend to a community of millions.