Saturday, May 24, 2008

Home schoolers snubbed in Subway restaurant writing contest

Update 5/28/08: Subway apologizes....

Subway sandwich shops decided to run a creative writing contest for students to win $5,000 worth of playground equipment for their schools. The only problem was ... they purposely omitted home schooled students from being eligible to participate.

Home schoolers are spreading the word throughout the nation about Subway's snub.

As reported by Jay Baggett at WorldNetDaily:
Subway, the sandwich restaurant, wants to hear your child's story – unless he or she is homeschooled.

The national chain's "Every Sandwich Tells a Story Contest" offers prizes and a chance to be published on the Subway website and in Scholastic's "Parent & Child" magazine but specifically excludes homeschoolers:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Contest is open only to legal residents of the Untied (sic) States who are currently over the age of 18 and have children who attend elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted.
Subway's website promotion not only misspells "United" States, but offers the grand prize winner a "Scholastic Gift Bastket (sic) for your home."

The 2007 winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee was Evan O'Dorney, a 13-year old homeschool student from Danville, Calif.
Perhaps a home schooled student should have written the ad for Subway ... perhaps it would not have included the spelling and/or typing mistakes. (Home schoolers teach their children keyboarding so they can be proficient on the computer.)

The World Net Daily article continues:
The exclusion of homeschoolers, presumably because the grand prize includes $5,000 worth of athletic equipment for the winning child's school, has caught the attention of bloggers who educate their children.

Valerie Bonham Moon, writing for HomeEdMag, referred to the exclusion as "Subway's P.R. gaffe."

"By now, the Subway sandwich shop marketing division must know how bad of a decision it was on the part of whichever wonk who decided to expressly exclude homeschoolers from their latest contest. E-mail lists may not be utterly aflame over the exclusion, but there is more than one p---ed-off homeschool mom spreading the word. I've been reading their e-mails."
If the decision to exclude home schoolers was partially based on the grand prize playground equipment for a school, it could easily have been avoided by allowing the recipient, if a home schooler, to donate to a park, playground, or local school.

Home school blogger mom "Capturing Today" was letting people hear through her blog about the Subway gaffe.
"Excuse me, but there are MILLIONS of homeschool students in this nation and this is just discrimination. A homeschool student could easily donate the athletic equipment to their homeschool athletic association, local park, athletic center, neighborhood center or the like. I realize they are doing this to have a mass-marketing effect, but they could have just as great a media response from a charitable homeschool student donating the prize.

"I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for us to make our voices heard that we as homeschool families are tired of being cast in a negative light.
B-O-Y-C-O-T-T is what some have suggested doing to Subway stores. Just when it seemed that home educators were being accepted the prejudices of society raised their ugly heads.


Expatriate Owl said...

Scholastic Parent & Child magazine is also in on this one.

The Media Relations people at Scholastic, Inc. can be contacted at (212) 343-4563 or

Start shooting out those phone calls and e-mails!

Tammy said...

Site for the online petition to boycott Subway.

Anonymous said...

The home school exclusion isn't unique to Subway. Major retail chains, Target among them, have high profile campaigns to "give back to the community" in the form of money and/or goods for schools. Without exception, these include only "official" institutions of education and exclude home schoolers. General Mills, Campbell's soup and other retail manufacturers have well publicized "labels for schools" campaigns that exclude home schoolers. As a home schooling father, I hope we exercise a bit of thoughtfulness about what type of response should be trumpeted as needed here.