Subway Hits Homeschoolers Below the Belt

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Across the web of homeschool discussion groups to which I belong, there's been much ado over the apparent discrimination against homeschoolers by Subway's decision to exclude our kids from their latest essay contest.  Read the rules, NO HOME SCHOOLS.  The contest is co-sponsored by Scholastic books, an organization which has, in the past, included homeschoolers in their contests and promotions.  They certainly show up at our book fairs and conferences! 

Here's the deal:  the grand prize is $5000 of athletic equipment to be donated to the winner's school.  What the promoters intended, presumably, was that the prize would not be awarded to an individual family, but rather to a school for the benefit of a large group of kids.  I can dig that.  What would I do with all that equipment, anyway?  My garage is already unusable as vehicle storage because we're collecting dust samples on all kinds of old athletic equipment, like a Nordictrack and a Bowflex, which make great hangers for extension cords and jumper cables, by the way.

I suggest we Christian homeschoolers do something totally radical...Christlike, even.  We write each organization nice letters telling them how much we love their products, how disappointed we are that they did not include homeschoolers, what we think they could have changed in order to include homeschoolers and still honor the intent of the prize distribution and, finally, how we will continue to enjoy their products and look forward to being included in their next contest.

My point is, I think the exclusion is not an intentional stab at homeschoolers, but is a big, fat PR gaffe.  Let's be smart about it.  Writing letters pointing out the spelling errors in the rules list and promising to boycott is what the world would do.  We can do better than that.

Whaddaya think?