I just got back from the national conference of the National Education Association (NEA) where over 8,000 educators representing NEA’s nearly 3 million members considered a resolution denouncing McTeacher’s Nights.
If you haven’t heard of these absurd marketing events dressed up as charity, here’s how they work: McDonald’s exploits cash strapped schools by getting teachers to work behind the counter serving its unhealthy food to students and their students’ families. These events operate under the guise of charity but give only a small percentage of nightly proceeds to participating schools. McDonald’s gets the kind of marketing that money cannot buy, and our communities are left footing the bill for a lifetime of diet-related disease.
But there’s a growing movement, led by educators and families, to stop McDonald’s marketing in schools. And it’s clear that just NEA’s consideration of a resolution rattled McDonald’s.
In the next few days, we’ll have another chance to send a message that teachers don’t condone McTeacher’s Nights. I’ll be attending the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) bi-annual meeting where a similar resolution will be considered. And this time, we can make sure it passes.
When we’ve confronted McDonald’s executives about these exploitive and predatory marketing events in the past, they’ve told us that they run them because schools and teachers want them. We know that’s absurd, because we organize alongside educators every day.
Here’s what these educators tell us: McTeacher’s Nights turn their classroom into an advertisement for junk food. McTeacher’s Nights deny McDonald’s workers shifts and wages they were counting on. And McTeacher’s Nights only give schools a small percentage of the night’s proceeds, while McDonald’s benefits from the free labor.
That’s why educators are stepping up to make a change. Last April, prompted by the local teachers union, the Los Angeles Unified School District passed a policy to end McTeacher’s Nights. Now, we have a chance to take this movement to the national level at the upcoming American Federation of Teachers meeting where a resolution to denounce McTeacher’s Nights will be up for a vote.
Make sure we have the strongest presence possible at the AFT annual meeting and can pass a resolution to stop McTeacher’s Nights. With your support, we’ll send a message to McDonald’s: Educators don’t want you exploiting their classrooms for your profit.
Together we will show the world’s most dangerous corporations that we’re watching and holding them accountable.