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.


The corporate sponsorship I’m waiting for

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.

11 thoughts on “McEducation

  1. Does “anyone” out there think that teachers have EXTRA time to spend doling out food at Mickey D’s? As a retired teacher, I remember the 12 and 14 hour days grading papers, planning, copying, organizing my classroom, and hitting Good Will and garage sales for more books. I did not have time to ‘give’ to McD’s! Let alone – nutrition, anyone? Dear Lord! Great rant, MILK!

  2. The “Food Babe” is going to have a heart attack when she hears about this. And just what teachers want/need and have time to do. And then families get to promote fast food addiction while trying to support the school. Brilliant McD marketing ploy. Just write a check – your body and school will thank you.

  3. I HATE this night every year. My kids don’t eat fast food. I don’t eat fast food. I’ve never let them eat at McDonalds. However, they’ve managed to convince me the last 2 years to go there…sigh…they win. But all I let them order is a mini ice cream. Because I’m “mean”. Whatever. It does make a ton of money for the school but hubs and I have a conversation exactly like your post every single year. Bullshit.

  4. Wow. That is messed up. Thankfully I’ve never heard of McTeacher Day here in Australia, but it sounds like great business on the part of the Golden Arches.
    We have a school banking system run by one of the major banks here. Pretty much every child in Australia has an account with this bank so they can make their weekly deposit at school. Turns out the school gets a kickback from the bank every time a child deposits (okay, I’m all in favour of schools being supported, but it’s not declared), the activity kits sent home by the bank include crosswords and so on with frequent mention of personal loans and credit cards – and when each kid turns 18? They get sent a pre-approval for a credit card so their lifelong relationship with debt kicks off with a bang. Brilliant.

  5. That’s one thing I cannot stand about these so-called charitable promotions of theirs, and other companies too. If they were serious about actually really giving rather than just being self-serving hypocrites they’d cover their costs and hand over the rest. I refuse to buy anything on McHappy day, because I don’t think eating McShit helps anyone besides McShit. I’ll make a donation directly to a charity instead. Fuck Maccas. Since I’m already ranting, I also hate how Woolworths here in Australia sells themselves as ‘for the farmers’ to the media yet rips off those same farmers for their milk so they can sell it for a dollar a litre. Bloody hypocrites!
    Ps sorry for the swears, I’m feeling particularly volatile today…

  6. Every year our super-hyphenated school district sponsors “a night at the hog barn.” Our teachers, who have nothing better to do with their time, quite unwillingly spend an evening pressure-washing a local hog-barn. Students and their parents are then invited to point and jeer as their teachers are splattered with manure.

    It is loads of fun and quite educational because the kids learn “where bacon comes from”.

    Recently, McDonalds proposed a fundraising idea along the lines of what you describe. Their presentation was met with stony silence. Afterwards, one school board member was heard remarking to another, “Just who do they think we are to present something like THAT?”

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