What are McTeacher’s Nights?
Events McDonald’s calls “McTeacher’s Nights” are part of a comprehensive marketing strategy McDonald’s has developed to target children wherever they are, including in schools. On McTeacher’s Nights, McDonald’s enlists teachers as brand ambassadors to sell the corporation’s junk food to students and students’ families. At the events, McDonald’s invites teachers and school administrators to “work” behind McDonald’s store counters, wear branded uniforms, and serve burgers, fries, and sugary drinks to their students and students’ families. In exchange for the kind of marketing that money can’t buy, McDonald’s contributes only a small percentage of the events’ proceeds to schools.
What’s wrong with McTeacher’s Nights?
During McTeacher’s Nights, McDonald’s exploits cash-strapped schools to market its brand and its fast food to children. The events encourage students to eat junk food, undermining the hard work that parents, teachers, and administrators do to promote healthy habits for children. Parents and students trust teachers to do what’s best for students’ health. By enlisting teachers to market junk food to kids, McDonald’s manipulates that trust. In the midst of one of the largest preventable health crises in the U.S. -- one that is closely linked to diet and increasingly affects children -- it’s deeply irresponsible for McDonald’s to exploit limited school budgets to market fast food to children.
Who is organizing to end McTeacher’s Nights?
The National Education Association and more than 50 state and local teachers unions across the United States have joined more than 30,000 teachers, school nurses, parents, advocates and community members across the country to send a strong message to McDonald’s: End McTeacher’s Nights. United Teachers Los Angeles has passed a policy denouncing these marketing events disguised as fundraisers, and warned local McDonald’s franchisees to not approach Los Angeles teachers. To see a full list of teachers unions and advocacy organizations that oppose McTeacher’s Nights, see our open letter to McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook
Do McTeacher's Nights help schools?
McTeacher’s Night events are poor fundraisers that bring very little revenue to the schools that participate. Schools generally receive only 15 to 20 percent of the proceeds from each event. A survey conducted by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Corporate Accountability International revealed that schools receive, on average, just $1.18 per student. One high school in 2014 earned just five cents per student. McTeacher’s Nights promote McDonald’s food and its brand, but these events offer little for schools, and fall far short of the kind of philanthropy McDonald’s claims they provide.
How prevalent are McTeacher’s Nights?
While McDonald’s does not provide a comprehensive listing of every instance of McTeacher’s Nights across the country, these events are widespread. From public listings alone, Corporate Accountability International and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood have documented more than 600 McTeacher’s Night events in more than 30 states.
Known McTeacher's Nights 2013-present
- Join more than 30,000 people and teachers unions representing more than 3 million teachers and education professionals who are demanding McDonald’s end McTeacher’s Nights.
- Write a letter to your local school board, principal, and PTA urging them not to participate in McTeacher’s Night events.
- Explore fundraising alternatives for your school community that don’t rely on junk food.
- Share on social media