Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Essays & Axe Handles

While I do not consider myself to be a particularly staunch proponent of home schooling, there certainly are many children for whom home schooling is an appropriate mode of education, and who, in fact, have done well by it. [If truth be told, home schooling was one possibility explored by our family during a period when several of the Jewish day schools in our area were undergoing upheavals and worse.] Home schooling, then, should be an available option.

[Query: Howcum the government gets all upset whenever a business entity such as Microsoft or AT&T or Standard Oil achieves monopolistic control, but the government insists that it retain the monopoly on education?]

Well, the Subway sandwich shop chain is holding an "Every Sandwich Tells a Story" essay contest for kids. And guess what? "Contest is open only to legal US residents, over the age of 18 with children in either elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted."

This is being blogged by various blogospheric institutions, including but not limited to Home Education Magazine, Michelle Malkin, et cetera. My take on it:

A. During the upheavals associated with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, an Atlanta restaurateur named Lester Maddox brandished axe handles to keep African-Americans out of his dining establishment (which gave Maddox national attention and launched a political career which eventually placed Maddox into the Georgia Governor's Mansion.).

Now, in 2008, Subway cannot discriminate based upon race. But it seems that they now are discriminating against children based upon their parents' decision to home school.

B. If you read Subway's announcement of the contest, you will see that Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine is also complicit in the contest. I am willing to tentatively give P&C Magazine the benefit of the doubt, and say that they may well have been unaware of Subway's rule disqualifying the young kids whose parents have chosen to home school them. Nevertheless, in addition to informing the folks at Subway of our dissatisfaction with their discriminatory policy, cards and letters and faxes and e-mails should also be directed to P&C Magazine.

Contact info for P&C:

Parent & Child Magazine
5th Floor, 555 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 Telephone: (212) 343-6100 Fax: (212) 343-4801.

The Editor-in-Chief of Scholastic Parent & Child is Stephanie Izarek. Her telephone number is (212) 343-6615, and her e-mail is sizarek@scholastic.com [Please pronounce her name correctly; the “I” in her name is a long vowel (”Eye-Zay-Reck”).].

Kyle Good is Scholastic, Inc.’s Vice President of Corporate Communications. His contact info: (212) 343-4563, kgood@scholastic.com .

The Scholastic Media Room Feedback & Comments e-mail contacts are rthomas@scholastic.com, cjohnson@scholastic.com .

Another e-mail address is news@scholastic.com .
Query: Who is judging the contest anyway? Is it the Subway people who have composed the announcement a poster with its several misspelt words? Or is it the educational mavens from Scholastic, Inc.?

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