The words ‘McTeacher’s Night’ conjure up misleading ideas about a night where certified teachers get half price off or a free Coke with their meals. In reality, it’s quite the contrary; it encourages teachers to stand in McDonalds outlets and serve their students on selected nights. The teachers then get a cut of the profits that night, which they donate to their school’s funds.
The McDonald’s website describes the program by saying “Educators, students, parents, and friends are invited to their local McDonald’s to “work” and raise money for a designated school related cause. Monies go towards sports uniforms, band equipment, theater needs — whatever the school decides! Parents and children are encouraged to come to their local McDonald’s to see their very own educators serve up hamburgers, fries and shakes! A portion of the sales from a designated time period is donated to the school for its specific fundraising need.”
What are the responses?
Despite the glowing terms that McDonald’s officially uses to describe the program, we personally fail to see the benefits of the program. For one, it seems derogatory to expect teachers to serve their students as it messes with the respect-based relationship that makes for good student teacher interactions.
Parents, teachers and other advocates point out similar problems with the program. Mark Noltner, a father in Chicago complained to the principal of his daughter’s school when he found out about the program. The McDonald’s logo is extremely recognizable to students, so in essence, the [teachers] are becoming walking billboards” for the brand, Noltner said to The Salt.
Teachers too are less than pleased about the practice. In an open letter to the CEO of McDonalds, the Chicago Teacher’s Union said “”It is wrong to enlist teachers to sell kids on a brand like McDonald’s whose core products are burgers, fries, and soda. … McTeacher’s Nights negate the good work of educators to create healthy food habits and environments in schools.”
“McDonald’s is using the bond between student and teacher to create business for themselves, and I see that as exploitation,” Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, told The Salt.
What’s McDonald’s saying?
Expectedly, McDonald’s is defending its stand. The spokeswoman, Lisa McComb commented that the fundraisers are operated by franchisees, and are not the responsibility of the company. However, she added that they have been viewed positively adding “The franchisees are independent business owners. If they feel they want to support their community in this way, they’re free to do that.”
What’s your take on the McTeacher’s Night? Yay or Nay?