PrairieFrogs Endorse… Subway?

This is a kinda different post for my blog all around.  I usually avoid controversial posts, as although I love a hearty debate in the right context, I prefer this venue just to share glimpses of our life.   I also usually avoid product endorsements. We don’t even wear “character” shoes.  Disney doesn’t grace the children’s nightwear, underwear or any where.  My endorsing a convenience food place is incongruous as well, because we tend to be more of the whole-foods, home cooking mind set.

Yet… I’m absolutely stunned at homeschoolers across the internet being quite so outraged at Subway–yes, the sandwich shop.  Apparently Subway is running an essay contest and wants to give 5K in athletic equipment to the winning school.

Our society seems eager to find discrimination.  Everything is supposed to be “fair”.  On the surface this sounds great, and I’m thoroughly opposed to real, mean-spirited, or even just uninformed discrimination.  But it can be taken to communistic levels that try to remove any blessings to flatten the topography and make everything the same.  It would be entirely different if they were refusing service to paying homeschooling patrons, or seating homeschoolers in a separate section, but we’ve become so petty we get up in arms if even gifts and donations aren’t all inclusive.

This is Subway’s contest, and they are giving away a prize.  They host the contest, they make the rules.  This is as it should be.  When I give something away, whether it is charitable donations or birthday presents, I give to the recipients of  my choosing.  If, as a landlord, I want bake bread as a blessing to  one renter, but not for all the tenants, that too is my business.
In Subway’s case, it just flat makes sense to me that they’d like the $5,000 of athletic equipment to benefit a larger pool of children than just one family.  But regardless of whether it makes sense, it is their right to have the rules they choose–Senseless or otherwise.

Of course it is the customer’s right to boycott, and many homeschoolers are doing just that.  I do wonder though, whether it is wise.  Certainly there is a lot of real discrimination against homeschoolers, and this contest could further the misconception that we are somehow not doing “real” education.  Yet, by protesting we are joining the mentality that says no group should be blessed if my group isn’t included.  Like a spoiled socialite we are outraged that anyone could host a party and not invite us.

I’ve not read any other homeschool blogs supporting Subway’s right to make the rules about how they give away money.  I’m obviously in the minority.  But then, I’ve always held that how a person gives away money is their own business.  I don’t believe people are “owed” fairness in this respect, but rather that the business or individual giving is owed the right to give as they please.

On Sunday evening we ate Subway.  And after reading around the blogosphere today, I’d be tempted to go get Subway again tonight… but alas we have a delicious roast cooking in the crock pot as I type.    Too bad they can’t compete with a slow cooked, organic, grass feed, beef pot roast in a wine sauce with potatoes.

Here’s Keegan showing his support for the rights of businesses:

Homeschooled Boy Endorses Subway

For Further Reading:

Here’s a link to the contest rules.

And a comment link to tell Subway what you think, pro or con.

Here’s an article from American Thinker about why homschoolers are feeling excluded.

And a Worldnet Daily article on the subject of Subway and the homeschool community.

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26 thoughts on “PrairieFrogs Endorse… Subway?

  1. Great post, Dell! I was planning on looking into this, so your post was quite helpful. Although it would have been nice for Subway to include homeschoolers with an alternate prize, it seems like it would defeat the purpose of this particular contest.

    I thought you might be interested in a response that someone at The Well-Trained Mind forum received from Scholastic regarding the contest:
    http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29479&highlight=subway

    Thanks again for stating your thoughts; I agree that we need to choose our battles wisely.

    ~Andrea

  2. I have found quite a few homeschoolers who have responded in a reasonable way to this controversy. I agree that if Subway wants to have a contest to benefit brick&mortar schools, then that is a perfectly legitimate endeavor.

    I think one of the problems is that they don't appear to know that homeschoolers in some states ARE considered to be private schools, and if one of them won the contest, what would they do, KWIM? I believe they didn't take enough care with the language of the rules for this.

    I just posted a blog about how many contests I found by Googling, and their eligibility requirements. Many exclude HSers, or require that they be registered with an accredited homeschool organization. Subway is getting smacked around for something that many organizations and businesses do regularly, from Pillsbury to Campbell's to Legos.

    http://sunniemom.wordpress.com

  3. I hadn't even heard of this contest until I read a few blogs with very negative reactions/responses. It does seem that you are in the minority…But, thank you for sharing your well thought out position. (And, I have to say, I agree with you!)
    I hope y'all enjoy your pot roast tonight…sounds yummy!! 🙂
    ~Veronica
    http://www.thewhitleyfamily.net

  4. Way to Go Dell!!
    I agree completely, and recognize that it does take courage to speak out on a view that is contrary to what at least some of your peers have stated. You added light in a thoughtful and tactful way that should not generate any heat. I am impressed!
    Grumpy Dave

  5. Inklings Homeschool has sent a supportive email to Subway! Thanks for the heads up; we hate to let homeschoolers get a bad name. -your sistwerp.

  6. I'm with you— wanted to blog about it– haven't had a chance–

    I have a few thoughts of my own–but I'm pretty upset with the "pouting" and "crying" of the homeschoolers— VERY SAD—

    You are the first non-whiner– and I'm so glad to read your entry!!!

  7. Dell, I agree. I think that as homeschoolers, we make the choice to be counter-culture. Why, then, do we expect culture to bend to us? I also think that we need to acknowledge the fact that the same freedoms that allow us to homeschool (legally) are those that allow Subway to offer whatever contest they want.

    Mmmm. A sub is sounding awfully good right now.

  8. [PrairieFrog Blog has a most excellent post on the whole Subway contest kerfuffle here…]

    daybydayhsing.blogspot.com (I didn know how to do a trackback on homeschoolblogger)

    Excellent post and the kind of thoughtfullness that this matter needs!

  9. [PrairieFrog Blog has a most excellent post on the whole Subway contest kerfuffle here…]

    daybydayhsing.blogspot.com (I didn know how to do a trackback on homeschoolblogger)

    Excellent post and the kind of thoughtfullness that this matter needs!

  10. Dell, I whole-heartedly agree with you. That last thing on earth we need is for homeschoolers to be looked at as a bunch of sniveling, fit-throwing, spoil sports. It does our 'cause' no earthly good. I hadn't heard of the 'issue' until just now but my first reaction was, "how silly!"

    You aught to be political more often 😉

  11. I've read a fair bit about this so-called "scandal" and quite frankly the negative reaction is ridiculous and uncalled for. The rules are what they are, and I don't understand what the fuss is all about.

    Thanks for your gentle and tactful defense. I wouldn't have been so nice about it.

    — Julie in Ohio

  12. Now HSLDA has stepped into the fray with an open letter to Subway, demanding that the rules be "amended". It's an obvious manifestation of the persecution complex that so many homeschoolers possess. I find it embarrassing that some have stooped to the level of litigious PC types, demanding that they be included for the sake of "fairness". As you said, Dell, it is Subway's right to design the rules and conduct the contest as they see fit.

    I will NOT be renewing my HSLDA membership next year. Wish I could have this year's fees refunded, for that matter. If this is how they conduct themselves, then I want nothing to do with them. WorldNetDaily is out too.

    — Julie in Ohio

  13. Carla, I think you nailed it with this, "… also think that we need to acknowledge the fact that the same freedoms that allow us to homeschool (legally) are those that allow Subway to offer whatever contest they want."

    I'm also thrilled that several of you mentioned calm responses on the subject you've read. For some reason I only stumbled upon the outraged bloggers in my travels and I'm thrilled I missed a bunch of calm responses. (Likely too many who weren't outraged at Subway just quietly shrugged their shoulders and went about their business instead of trying to counter the fray.)

    I like what Dawn at Day By Day Discoveries said on her blog here:

    http://daybydayhsing.blogspot.com/2008/05/just-stop-it-with-subway-hate.html

    (And thanks Dawn for the wonderful link to my post here: http://daybydayhsing.blogspot.com/2008/05/thoughtful-post-on-subway-kerfuffle.html )

  14. I was disappointed when (soon after I posted) I got an email from HSLDA. I even groaned out-loud and said to my husband, "Even HSLDA's doing it now!" But reading their letter it was much more reasonable than many reactions I've read–although still a little petty in my opinion.

    In generally I really do like HSLDA. I disagree with them on a few issues, but.. I disagree with everyone on a few things, and figure that's just a hazard of being an independent thinker.

    This wasn't an anti HSLDA post. It was just an anti-temper-tantrum kind of tantrum. 😉

  15. as usual, Dell, you are articulate and even-handed…i certainly would not be, which is probably why i HAVEN'T blogged about it

    and frankly, HSLDA, while the letter was fine, does not impress me in the least…i think they undo alot of the good they HAVE done with this sort of sillieness

    i posted this on two message boards i frequent

    "coming at this from a totally different point of view

    i don't homeschool so i can be included in all the contests and stuff that the public and private school kids are involved in

    i homeschool for many reasons, but one of them is to AVOID this sort of stuff, so to make a stink (however well worded or reasonable) is opposite of one of our reasons for homeschooling

    there's plenty of homeschool co-ops who offer contests, gym classes, science, whatever…i'm rambling, i know, but all of this (except for the five grand worth of equipment) can be achieved without using and feeling "lft out" of this sort of thing

    i don't know if i made any sense, but for *ME* it just isn't worth it to get all up in arms about stuff like this…i'm happy i homeschool to avoid all of this extraneous stuff…keeps life simple "

    i think i'll just link to your blog on mine since you spoke my thoughts much better than i can *giggle*

    blessings!
    Barbara
    http://barbaradh.typepad.com/eclectic_collection/

  16. I just have increasing reservations about HSLDA and don't know why I joined in the first place. Thus my cyber-tantrum. 😉

  17. Subway apologizes seeks to make amends:

    http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/200805280.asp

    Quote from above link:
    "HSLDA is pleased to pass along the following apology from Subway restaurants.

    To HSLDA:

    We at SUBWAY restaurants place a high value on education, regardless of the setting, and have initiated a number of programs and promotions aimed at educating our youth in the areas of health and fitness.

    We sincerely apologize to anyone who feels excluded by our current essay contest. Our intention was to provide an opportunity for traditional schools, many of which we know have trouble affording athletic equipment, to win equipment. Our intent was certainly not to exclude homeschooled children from the opportunity to win prizes and benefit from better access to fitness equipment.

    To address the inadvertent limitation of our current contest and provide an opportunity for even more kids to improve their fitness, we will soon create an additional contest in which homeschooled students will be encouraged to participate. When the kids win, everyone wins!"

  18. Well said, Dell. I'm not going to say more, because everyone else all ready has, and better than I would do. I think people should find better things to do with their time than waste it on whining to Subway. What does that teach??

  19. Dell, I'm not sure you're as much in the minority as you think. I know that I didn't blog about it because I didn't think it was a big deal, so it was nothing to talk about! lol Perhaps I'm not the only one who didn't write simply BECAUSE we didn't find anything to take offense at in the way Subway ran their contest? (I do think that a rational, "we're disappointed that you seem to be discriminating against us," would have been reasonable had the prize been, say, a scholarship or something. But this was clearly designed to be a "group" prize and not an individual one. What would a homeschooler even DO with $5,000 of athletic equipment?!)

    Crystal at Biblical Womanhood posted about the silliness of the homeschool community's response, too. 🙂

  20. Very good point Rachel! I bet your right, and that many of the non-reactionary responses just weren't blogged because a shoulder shrug really isn't news.

    Excellent point.

  21. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I'd go out and get some subway, too, but it just doesn't sound good to my almost 9 week preggo belly. Two thumbs up here!

  22. Oh thank you… I was just about to give my .02 on my blog about the whole thing from announcement, to whine, to neener neener… and I wasn't going to be nearly as gracious.

    Better to just say "ditto' and move along.

  23. Ever since I read the "actual rules" from subway, I have felt like they are OK. I believe that it is there decision of rules to their contest. Just as I would like to make the rules for any contest I would have.

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