Mark Noltner couldn’t believe what his daughter was saying. At school that day, her teachers had worn McDonald’s shirts and encouraged the students to attend a school fundraiser at a local McDonald’s.
“I was outraged,” said Mark. “It’s hard enough helping my daughter navigate the minefield of unhealthy marketing; the last thing she needs is her teachers hawking junk food. And as a teacher myself, it infuriates me that McDonald’s would compromise the sanctity of our classrooms and manipulate the trust that teachers develop with their students.”
Unfortunately, it’s not just Mark’s daughter’s teachers who are being enlisted to sell kids on the McDonald’s brand. On “McTeacher’s Nights” across the country, teachers “work” behind the counter selling burgers, fries, and soda to their students and their students’ families. It’s a marketing ploy disguised as a school fundraiser. McDonald’s is exploiting the hard-earned trust, respect, and popularity of teachers to sell junk food to kids and create brand loyalty.
Mark reached out to CCFC and, together with our friends at Corporate Accountability International, we’ve organized a powerful coalition to demand that McDonald’s stop using teachers to sell kids fast food. Will you join with leading educators, the National Education Association, and more than 50 state and local teachers unions to demand that McDonald’s end this abusive practice?
McTeacher’s Nights take advantage of cash-strapped school budgets. McDonald’s provides branded uniforms and trains teachers and school principals to manage cash registers, promising in return to donate a small portion of the event’s proceeds. But not only are McTeacher’s Nights harmful for children’s health, they return little money to the schools that participate. Schools typically receive just 15 to 20 percent of the event’s proceeds, often amounting to only one to two dollars per student.
It’s shameful that McDonald’s is using the tragic underfunding of our public schools as a marketing opportunity. Teachers should never have to sacrifice their students’ health in order to earn a few extra resources for their classrooms.
So let’s stand with educators and parents like Mark and tell McDonald’s: No More McTeacher’s Nights.