Congrats! You passed your resolution. It’s time to celebrate and amplify. Social media is a great way to get the word out that the resolution passed and educate more people about McTeacher’s Nights. But McDonald’s executives may not get the message from social media alone, so it’s important to let them know about this victory from a leader of the institution that passed the resolution itself. Raising the visibility of wins like this and getting the message in front of McDonald’s executives both encourages more institutions to pass similar resolutions and chips away at McDonald’s stranglehold on schools.
Below are some tools to help spread the word and make sure McDonald’s gets the message: Stop McTeacher’s Nights! You’ll find sample social media posts, and sample letters to McDonald’s CEO and to PTAs and school presidents in your district that teachers unions can use once they pass the resolution. As always, reach out to us at 617-695-2525 or info@CorporateAccountability.org for more ways to amplify.
- Victory: .@[UNION NAME] is taking action for children’s health and rejecting McTeacher’s Nights! #StopMcTeachersNights
- .@[UNIONNAME] just joined the more than 50 unions and 30,000 people calling for an end to McDonald’s predatory marketing practice of #McTeachersNights!
- Wake up call to @McDonalds to stop marketing to students: @[UNIONNAME] voted to protect kids’ health and #StopMcTeachersNights! [LINK to LTE, any media coverage]
Sample Facebook post:
Did you know McDonald’s is using teachers to lure children into their restaurants? McTeacher’s Nights, where teachers “work” behind the counter, is a marketing ploy disguised as a school fundraiser. That’s why we’ve joined a growing call demanding that McDonald’s end this practice and passed a resolution stopping McTeacher’s Nights in [TOWN/DISTRICT]. Check it out! [Link to LTE, any media coverage, the resolution language itself]
Sample letter to McDonald’s from institution
[Month Day, Year]
Steve Easterbrook, CEO
1045 W Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Dear CEO Steve Easterbrook:
On behalf of the [UNION/GROUP] and the more than [insert NUMBER of educators/parents/community members (SELECT ONE)] we represent, I am writing to demand you end the promotion of McTeacher’s Nights in [LOCATION (can be state, town, municipality, etc.)].
As [EDUCATORS/PARENTS/SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS], nothing matters more to us than the lives of our students. Yet across the country and in [insert LOCATION], McDonald’s is exploiting our schools and teachers to market its unhealthy fare to children. Of the many tactics you use to target children in schools, perhaps none is more egregious than McTeacher’s Nights, where teachers are asked to work behind the counter of local McDonald’s stores and sell fast food to their own students and students’ families.
On this [DATE], the [UNION/GROUP] passed a resolution denouncing these thinly-veiled marketing events. Here are some of the critical reasons why:
- We are in the midst of a health crisis, one that increasingly affects our children. The predatory marketing of fast food to children is driving an epidemic of childhood obesity and diet-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes, which disproportionately affects Black and brown children.
- It is wrong to exploit teachers’ authority and popularity to lure kids to McDonald’s. As educators, we know how impressionable children are and how important it is to care for children and teach them the right lessons from a young age. When McDonald’s makes teachers “work” behind store counters, it sends the wrong message, and exploits the trust between teachers and students to promote junk food.
- McTeacher’s Nights are ineffective fundraisers. They often raise as little as $1 per student. Schools receive as little as 10 percent of the proceeds of an event, while McDonald’s pockets the rest.
Educators should not have to choose between school resources today and the health of students tomorrow. By passing this resolution, the full membership of [UNION/GROUP] expresses a united position opposing McTeacher’s Nights. We have urged our members to reject McTeacher’s Nights if approached in their schools and to engage their principals and parent-teacher associations about the negative consequences of these events. We join millions of educators, parents and health professionals in demanding an end to this egregious practice.
Simply put, it is inappropriate for McDonald’s corporate, its franchisees, and operators to continue exploiting our teachers for marketing gain. Mr. Easterbrook, we insist that in your capacity as CEO, you immediately retire the “McTeacher’s Nights” promotional event within [insert LOCATION]. We further request that you provide written communication of this new policy to all franchisees and operators within [insert LOCATION].
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your full compliance with our request, and we hope to hear from you soon.
[insert YOUR SIGNATURE]
[insert YOUR TITLE]
Sample letter to PTA/school principal from teachers union
[Month Day, Year]
[City, ST ZIP Code]
Dear [PTA LEADERSHIP/SCHOOL PRINCIPAL]:
We understand that as parents, educators, and community members of [PTA NAME] you value and prioritize the health and well-being of our students and work every day to make [SCHOOL DISTRICT] better. And as educators in [UNION], nothing matters more to us than the lives of our students. Yet across the country and in [LOCATION], fast food and soda corporations are using our schools for predatory marketing practices aimed at our children.
That’s why [UNION/DISTRICT] is proud to join in solidarity with the more than fifty education organizations across the country in rejecting one of McDonald’s most exploitative marketing schemes: McTeacher’s Nights.
On [DATE], the [UNION/DISTRICT] passed a resolution to reject McTeacher’s Nights. Billed as “fundraising events,” McDonald’s enlists teachers and school administrators to wear branded T-shirts and work behind the counter, serving McDonald’s fast food to students. While McDonald’s gets free labor and the kind of marketing money can’t buy, children are left footing the bill for a lifetime of diet-related diseases.
Here are a few of the reasons we have decided to speak out against McTeacher’s Nights:
- The predatory marketing of fast food to children is driving an epidemic of childhood obesity and diet-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes. From putting playgrounds in stores to inventing one of the most recognizable corporate mascots in the world—Ronald McDonald—McDonald’s has done more than any other junk food corporation to hook children on products high in fat, salt, and sugar. Like Big Tobacco, McDonald’s marketing is driving a public health crisis—one that increasingly affects children.
- McTeacher’s Nights exploit teachers. It is wrong for corporations to use teachers to market to children. As educators, we know how impressionable children are, and how important it is to care for children and teach them the right lessons from a young age. When McDonald’s enlists teachers to “work” behind store counters, it sends the wrong message. The corporation exploits the trust between teachers and students to promote its junk food.
- McTeacher’s Nights are ineffective fundraisers. Not only are McTeacher’s Nights harmful for children’s health, they are also poor fundraisers. McTeacher’s Nights often raise as little as $1 per student, a ridiculously small amount compared to the time teachers must spend participating and recruiting their students to attend.
It is wrong to exploit cash-strapped schools by essentially turning teachers into temp workers for McDonald’s—a corporation notorious for miring its own workers in poverty.
McDonald’s thinks it can exploit teachers’ trust with their students, but we refuse to be complicit in McDonald’s scheme. We urge you to reject McTeacher’s Nights, refuse to host events if franchise owners approach you with these predatory marketing tactics disguised as charity, and educate your members about the harmful impacts of such junk food fundraisers on our children and community.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. We can also provide you with a list of healthy, alternative fundraisers that do not require teachers to market junk food to children.
[insert YOUR SIGNATURE]
[insert YOUR TITLE]