We have a pretty international audience here at MILK & Whiskey town, so I’m curious if people think I’m just peeing in PTA cheerios for no reason, or if this is honestly bizarre.
The flyer in my daughter’s backpack says that tonight is McTeacher night. If you think McTeacher sounds like something insulting you’d call an online professor, you’re not alone. As I understand it, once a year our school’s hardworking teachers are called upon to volunteer their time manning a McDonald’s by the mall for a few hours. This is a fundraiser. In return for working the drive thru and slinging apple pies, the PTA gets a whopping 20% of the proceeds from their sales. That better be a lot. I’m guessing McD’s does better on the evening than we do. Especially since their donation is probably a write-off.
To me, this seems like a Machiavellian marketing plot. McD’s gets free labor, advertising, and a crap-load of extra families rolling through on a Wednesday night. PLUS, a fresh generation of happy meal lovers collecting Chinese durable goods.
The PTA gets a little extra flow for the kids, sure, and I’m totally behind extra flow for the school. That’s where it sounds like a win-win, right? I mean, except for the teachers who maybe got a degree in education just to avoid this exact thing. Am I just another whiny liberal vegetarian? Yes, yes I am. But still.
Here’s the crux of my problem. I’ve spent the last several years convincing my kids of a few…let’s say re-phrasings of the truth about McD’s. Like that they’re always closed. “Sorry guys, closed on Tuesdays.” And that they mostly just serve poison and heart disease. And that the so called “play palace” is actually a trap, like a house made out of candy, to lure little children in for the poison, heart disease, and possibly to fatten up for eating. I know, I’m a terrible parent. This McTeacher situation is really screwing that up for me.
Because here’s the thing: McTeacher night isn’t McDonald’s sponsoring my school, it’s my school sponsoring McDonald’s. It’s my kid’s teacher – who obviously knows way more about everything than a simple mom and known liar – undermining the very fabric of my parenting-nutritional-theory.
Okay, that may be a bit hyperbolic. Still, I can’t help but wonder if the typical happy meal meets the stringent new food guidelines everyone’s in such a snit about.
All I know is now my 7 year old is begging to go to McDonald’s for dinner because it must be amazing, if her sainted teacher is pimping for them. This bothers me. Because f*@! McDonald’s on every nutritional and political level.
There’s a better way. It turns out you can just donate a few dollars to the school educating your local youth and, BONUS, it’s a tax deduction. Double bonus, if your place of employment matches giving, you can double your impact. Triple bonus – unlike donating to other charities, you will not be inundated with requests by mail for yet another donation until the bulk of your original donation has been spent on mailings…to you.
Corporations know this. That’s why they write checks instead of buying wrapping paper. So DO support your local school all filled with little people learning…something, probably…with your money and (if you can pass the background check) your time. Support your local PTA.
Let’s not support McDonald’s though. Those guys don’t need your help. They’re doing just fine on their own.