"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess." -Martin Luther

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Subway Fresh To Homeschoolers

Dear Readers,

My father pointed me to a blog describing a recent Subway contest. Examine Subway's official "Every Sandwich Tells a Story" page, if you like, but the one line of the contest rules that I am writing about is that which states "Home schools not eligible."

Five minutes of reading online turned up two speculations as to why Subway chose this exclusion.

First, because Subway believed homeschool entries, if allowed, would be of better quality than those submitted from other schools. I believe this to be true on the average, and assert that recent spelling bees and writing contests support my belief by showing a level of homeschool involvement and success disproportionate to the number of homeschoolers relative to other students.

Second, because the grand prize includes $5000 dollars of athletic equipment for the winner's school. To extend this speculation further, I suppose the planners of this contest believed that it would be a waste of publicity to give this gift to a homeschool (a family).

If the first reason is correct, I would like to complain to Subway that they are affirming a low standard, and excluding a higher one. Children in private and public schools may be accoladed for accomplishments that mean much less than they are given to believe, if some of the competition is barred from participation. Homeschooled children may well get a negative impression of their educational experience as inferior, whereas I wholeheartedly believe that it is (again, on the average) superior to other types of schooling. I have often noticed people who were or are homeschooled talking about their experience of homeschooling as if it were inferior to private and public school. Yet most of these people began college "early" and successfully.

If the second reason is correct, I would like to complain to Subway that they are being absurd. Homeschools need funds for athletics far more than private and public schools. Homeschools are not only short the tax support public schools receive, they are doubly short of it because they have to pay it! Most states ban homeschools from involvement in public school athletics, despite the fact that the parents of homeschool families pay taxes to support those athletics. A homeschool family receiving $5000 dollars worth of athletic equipment would be able, in most situations, to put it to excellent use. Homeschool homes and cooperative groups starve for lack of land, land maintenance, equipment, clothing, and funds for athletic fees. Homeschoolers profiting from this award would have reason to be far more grateful than a school, and it is the headmasters of homeschools who decide where their children eat for supper!

As my dad put it, Subway clearly communicated to him, as the head of a homeschool, that his business is not appreciated. Subway has said "no homeschools" and homeschools may respectfully give them what they asked for and withdraw their business. I myself might consider boycotting, but I barely ever eat at Subway to begin with.

What then is my point? To get a little rant out of my system, to add my 2 cents (whatever that means) to the murmur of disapproval, and perhaps to put forward some ideas readers may not have previously or thoroughly considered.

2 comments:

  1. I understand the need to stand up and "Represent!", but is one contest's rules really worth a boycott? Remember to pick your battles wisely, my good man; what would a homeschool family do with $5000 worth of athletic equipment? Granted, if they're a family with eleven children bent on starting their own NFL team, the extra equipment might come in handy. Or it could all be donated to earn the parents some kudos on their taxes. With outlandish exceptions aside, the company is entitled to make sensible decisions, and no one really wants to see that much money invested into equipment that might not be used. Even if they hand over a check, it's probably not smiled upon for any company to keep tabs on how a homeschool family spends their money.

    Yes, I admit that the rules of the contest made me a little bit angry. But how can you stay angry when someone tells you "You can't compete because you're too intelligent"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for commenting!

    I shall add boycotts to the list of topics to blog about in the future. "Choose Your Battles Wisely" would make a good header.

    "I myself might consider boycotting, but I barely ever eat at Subway to begin with."
    The next time I eat out and am in charge of deciding where to go, Subway's contest will have put it farther down the list, and, since there are a number of competitors, I doubt I will eat there. It is unlikely I will ever deal with the question of whether or not to boycott the company.

    "A homeschool family receiving $5000 dollars worth of athletic equipment would be able, in most situations, to put it to excellent use. Homeschool homes and cooperative groups starve for lack of land, land maintenance, equipment, clothing, and funds for athletic fees."
    You are right, of course. For instance, a homeschool family with few children, living in densely populated country might not find a good athletic use for the money, and certainly would not bring in much publicity for Subway, which has every right to try to make a profit. My argument is that in most cases a homeschool family would, whether within a family or a cooperative, be able to put the money to very good use, generating a lot of grassroots publicity.

    Subway made a poor marketing decision by creating a contest that singles out some of their customers for exclusion. The contest may encourage some to patronize Subway stores, but seems bound to discourage more.

    And yes, I've gotten over my annoyance.

    ReplyDelete

A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.