May 25, 2008

Subway Excludes Homeschoolers

Subway is having a contest for kids (any school aged kids that aren't homeschoolers).

From the Subway website:

"ELIGIBILITY. Contest is open only to legal residents of the United States who are currently over the age of 18 and have children who attend elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted."

That's right, folks... they are discriminating against homeschool children! So I guess we need to discriminate against their sandwiches. It won't be hard to boycott them for our family. We personally enjoy eating at the many other sandwich places around town anyway.

Instead of Subway, why not try:

Jason's Deli (cheapest kids plates in town and it's hard to beat their salad bar - try the Amy's Turkey-o, Ranchero Wrap, or BLT - extra crispy!)

Manny Hattans (heavenly knishes - my very favorite is Ebbot's Field Knish)

Quiznos (chipotle Sammie is yummy)

Schlotzsky's (the best home made sour dough bread - I get the Turkey Original)

Which Wich (every kind of sandwich you can imagine - even an Elvis banana, honey and peanutbutter... Kev's favorite is the Hummus Sandwich)

Chic-Fil-A (wraps or chicken salad - check for your local "kids eat free night" dates)

Chipotle (ok, so it's not a sandwich, but who needs a sandwich when you can have a burrito?)

If you can think of some other good sandwich places to add to the list, let me know! No reason to give money to homeschool excluding sandwich makers, now, is there? Get out and try something new! You'll be glad you did. Then maybe we can enlighten Subway on just how many homeschool families (that enjoy eating out at lunch) there are out there.

Update: Go sign the Subway petition and let them know you want them to include homeschoolers. There are already over 600 names!

Update again: I changed the article name and the link below to excludes rather than hates. I feel that hate was a bit over the top! Thanks for your comments everyone. Yes, Subway made a bad decision, but we don't hate them! The purpose of spreading the news about this is to EDUCATE, not badger Subway.

Update yet again: Subway has apologized to homeschoolers and said it would include them in future contests! Be sure to thank them.

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justjuls said...

A few thoughts on this - because of a response to some complaints about this contest -
The prize is $5000 worth of athletic equipment - and it was meant for a group - not an individual. However, that being said - they could've still opened it up to some homeschool organizations.
But I have a little more understanding than previously.

JoAnn said...

Thanks for the heads up. We eat at Subway frequently because there is one at the YMCA that we go to twice a week. Our classes are around lunchtime, too.

I think they would have easily opened up the contest to homeschoolers by offering enough athletic equiptment for the family and allowing the rest to be donated to the organization of the family's choice: a homeschool organization or co-op, church, or neighborhood school. I'd be more than willing to give the equiptment to our local elementary school so my kids' friends can benefit from it.

Sisterlisa said...

How sad. Homeschool co-ops could have the chance to enjoy that equipment. I entered their contest myself by leaving them this message:

"How sad that you are discriminating against home schooling families. Did you know that home school kids parents pay taxes FOR the public schools and on TOP of that they also pay for their own educational materials? We earn our own education while supplying education for millions of other children in this country through our taxes and you want to leave them out of this contest? So I wonder if Scholastic is aware that you're discriminating against thousands of their homeschooling customers? I have always enjoyed Subway and just had dinner there last night in fact, however due to your discrimination I will no longer frequent your establishment, unless you allow ALL children to participate."

Maybe we could have a homeschool essay contest at HSBA. ;O)

Lady Jess said...

Don't forget TOGO'S and any local Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich shops. Oh and then there's always Mo's BBQ Pits!

Dawn said...

I'll be eating at Subway. The contest's point is to award athletic equipment to schools. Awarding the prize to homeschoolers would not accomplish that.

Turn the other cheek on this one.

Kayla said...

Thank you for this post. I had no idea, but I will be spreading the word. Regardless of what *some* people think, one of the previous posters mentioned HS co-ops or groups. Which would accomplish EXACTLY the awarding of such equipment to a "group" students... The students who did their best & earned & worked for it.

carrie said...

No stinkin' way! Subway is all we have in this one horse town as far as fresh sandwiches go. That stinks because I agree that they could certainly donate to a homeschool coop or adjust the amount of equipment to a family's needs.

Or offer another prize alltogether. Like a gift card to a sporting equipment store.

Do you think they'll get enough complaints to get the message?

Tammy said...

Here's an adress for an online petition to boycott Subway.

Mama Kautz said...

to add to the son is joing the Navy and had to take a "personality quesitonaire" that only the homeschoolers have to take. He said it had a lot of "schooly" questions what would you do in this situation etc...he said it was like they were trying to see if he was socially fit to I would think moreso but that is just me

Sweet Woodruff said...

My homeschooled daughter just made 1369 on her SAT. Just thought I would share. :)

I would love to have equipment such as this and would gladly share with our co-op or other homeschool families. Heck, I would even give the rest to the school down the street.

If excuses can be made for this discrimination, then excuses can be made for other discriminating acts or contests. It's a dangerous precedent.

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI, the VFW, yes - the Veterans of Foreign Wars, also descriminates against homeschoolers. They no longer allow homeschoolers to participate in their essay contest. It, also, is limited to public, private, and parochial schools. No group athletic equipment there - just nice money for college!

Sprittibee said...

I understand the misconception that a homeschooler wouldn't want or know what to do with playground or gym equiptment... but if SUBWAY had done a little research, they could have found out the following BEFORE discriminating against a whole sector of American children (a sector that is growing by leaps and bounds each year):

1. Homeschool children like to play and exercise, too.

2. Most homeschool children are in groups/co-ops that might be able to use the gym/playground equiptment.

3. Most homeschool students are active politically and spiritually - with churches and other organizations and would be more than willing to share or donate any prizes they win.

4. Leaving homeschoolers out of the contest affectively states that Subway does not see homeschooling as a viable option for schooling.

5. There are more homeschoolers than Subway thinks there are. Homeschooling is growing at the fastest rate of any educational option and estimates are up to 2 million at this time in the USA.

6. Homeschoolers eat out more than most other kids for lunch (at least that has been my experience). I can't tell you how many other homeschool parents we have met at fast food places during lunch time all around (not just in my state, either!).

7. Homeschoolers are great! They are discriminating against my favorite people. We know so many great homeschooling families that would give you the shirt off their backs - bend over backwards to help society out by volunteering, serving, and loving others... that it just really rubs me the wrong way when ANY company or organization blatantly discriminates against them.

Sorry, but unless they change their tune, we stick by our boycott. I'd be glad to remove my post if they change their policy. Let me know if you hear anything! I'm sure I'll get it on email, though. Homeschool email loops are the fastest form of news on the planet!

- Heather

Sprittibee said...

Tammy, thanks for the petition link. I'll edit the post and add it!

Anonymous said...

One of the first lessons that I teach my kids is that life is not fair, and that one should save oneself for battles that are based on moral foundations and Biblical principles. I can't believe that home educators would want a testimony of being people who throw themselves into the floor and have a tantrum over a writing contest for traditionally schooled kids. The contest also excludes Canadians- are they having a fit as well for being 'discriminated' against?

To put it in perspective, there are Christians who have been and still are being killed for their faith while we act like martyrs because Subway won't let us come and play in their backyard? Sheesh.

And RAISE YOUR HAND if YOU planned on YOUR kids taking part in this contest- yeah, that's what I thought. Tempest in a teapot.

Amelia Antwiler said...

I dunno, Bee, I don't think they HATE homeschoolers. I think in some ways - they're trying to help a hurting system. And a hurting system is why many people are homeschooling their kids.

Yes - they could have worded it differently, but really - there are a lot of schools that need the equipment. I'm not going to begrudge them..I'm not going to get upset about it - My kids don't like subway anyway.

Feel free to stick by your boycott...but I'm not going to worry about it. Things could get a lot worse - (thinking of Germany or California) than having a sandwich shop tell me I can't enter a contest I wasn't going to enter anyway.

Just my 2cents.
Happy boycott..

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that you are complaining about discrimination when you exclude secular homeschoolers from entering your little blogging contest.

No one is being victimized here. Subway has rules for their contest, just as you have rules for yours.

Anonymous said...

Okay folks how about is the site where you can join the contest. I suggest we submit story entries using Subways own story starter about the Race to Red Onion farm..except we have our kids write abut discrimination.

Example:The Race to Red Onion Ranch
Everyone gathered in the center of town for the start of the race except....... the Homeschoolers who were excluded from the race.

Gary & Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Well, Subway has been running the contest for some time now; unlike the HSBA they probably realize they can't and shouldn't change the rules in mid-contest.

I also think it's ironic how so many people criticized us secular homeschoolers for boycotting, the purpose of which was to take a stand against non-violence toward children, yet those people don't seem to have a problem with boycotting over some playground equipment.

Sprittibee said...

Sunniemom - ouch, sunnie - sure felt like you were throwing some stones there. I'm just not eating at Subway (which I probably wouldn't have done anyway), I'm not throwing myself on the "floor". I totally understand that there are bigger fish to fry. We are very aware of global persecution of Christians and donate to many places where they are aided. I'm just passing on the word that Subway doesn't see Homeschoolers in the same light as any other schoolers... not trying to start World War 3. You don't have to yell at me.

ComfyDenim - My kids don't have time for the contest anyway - even if they do include homeschoolers. I just want to make sure they do for those out there that can. We aren't on summer break and are doing school through August and taking September off. We are in the middle of a heavy co-op unit on States and Regions. I agree that things could be a lot worse, but making companies aware that homeschoolers should be included should make things better... and make them aware that there are many of us out here (that we aren't just a tiny group).

saffirebleu - I'm not sure what you mean about discriminating against secular bloggers. All the contests I have had here on my blog have been completely fair. What contest are you referring to? I agree that Subway has rules, I'm just wanting them to know that they are leaving out a huge group of kids.

Anonymous - Interesting story starter. Let me know if it works for you. I'd be interested to see if you get a response back from them.

Don - What does this have to do with the HSBA? "Still mooring away at that bone, are we?" The rules were not changed in the middle of the contest last year, they were clarified. Clarification was necessary because of hostile commenting. I have no idea about any other boycott besides this one. I don't know if anyone at is practicing violence against their children, either. Have you witnessed something like that? I don't know any of them good enough to know what they are doing at home. I still don't see what that has to do with Subway.

I'm just the messenger... and the fact is that Subway left homeschoolers out. I just wanted homeschoolers to know this. Do with the info what you will.

Funny how these last minute posts that you throw up in a few minutes end up being the ones that get a ton of comments.

Anonymous said...

Sprittibee- I think the tone of your OP explains the tone of my response.

Subway Hates Homeschoolers

That's right, folks... they are discriminating against homeschool children! So I guess we need to discriminate against their sandwiches.

No reason to give money to homeschool hating sandwich makers, now, is there?

I don't think "Subway Hates Homeschoolers" is a reasonable response to the problem. Sure- the company is short-sighted and ill-informed. They probably didn't even give a moment's thought to home educators- their big prize was sports equipment, and they specifically had traditional schools in mind. They could have done more research and conceived a more inclusive contest. Hey- they could have actually proofread their ad before they posted it. But the public at large doesn't have the idea of home education programmed into their heads yet. It'll take a few sitcoms and reality shows for that to happen.

If Subway were doing something immoral or unethical, I could understand feeling outraged, but there are contests galore going on that have rules and include/exclude folks for a variety of reasons.

BTW- I wasn't yelling at you specifically- I have been reading ALOT of blog and forums about this topic, it just seems ridiculous to me that so many HSers are so agitated over this. I was raising my voice at what I believe to be the ridiculousness of it all. Is this what we want to be known for? And I wasn't throwing stones. Popcorn, maybe. :D

By all means- write a well reasoned letter to the management and inform them of the folly of their marketing dept, and how they could have included about 2 million more children in their contest than they did. I bet they are already getting out their calculators. ;)

Sprittibee said...

Sunnie - I agree, I put that post up in about ten seconds and now see that "hate" is such a harsh word. I honestly didn't give it a crosswise glance - just wanted to spread the news. I should be more careful with throwing "hate" around, though. Making notes to self. Thanks for your explanation. I was feeling a bit bruised.

I also have a heat headache - which doesn't make matters any better. Too much sun and sod removal. I never want to run that grass machine again. Paying the landscaper is looking more and more worth it. I'm SO glad I'm not in that line of work.

Shauna said...

I think Subway's eligibility requirements weren't well thought out and show a lot of ignorance about home education. But the title of this post is a good example of the over-the-top rhetoric I've seen far too much of from homeschoolers over this silly contest. There are a few Subways I personally boycott already because they're poorly run and have bad food, but I have no intention of signing a meaningless online petition (is there any other kind?) or boycotting Subway.

Anonymous said...

I have received this in every homeschool email list I am on, numerous times. I eat at Subway alot, and I just do not care about this contest at all. I think it is great that people get involved when they see unfairness. But I also see that there will be times when things benefit certain groups and not others. That is just life, and "missing out" on some things that schools get is just part of the choice to homeschool, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I Googled contests and fundraisers that are geared toward students, and found dozens- everyone from Orville Redenbacher to Duracell has or had a contest that awards prizes to kids and their schools. A few were open to homeschoolers that were part of an accredited homeschool organization, but most were only open to those in public or private schools.

We need to ask ourselves if we want all these contests to allow home educators, and what it would mean if they did. I don't believe it is as simple as it sounds.

Anonymous said...

Many contests for students say the prize will be donated to the school of the students choice. There is no reason all contests with prizes for schools couldn't be written this way.

Blimpies is another alternative to Subway:

Anonymous said...

I was not referring to your personal blog contests, but to the HSBA...where the rules were changed, not clarified.

Sprittibee said...


What rules? Please explain. This is a post about Subway, not about HSBA. I can't even post some of the comments that were on the HSBA (that we saved) because of the incredible foul language and hate in them. I am not sure why you would be posting about this on an unrelated blog post - and on a different blog - a year after the fact.

ALL homeschoolers were welcome in the blog contests at HSBA as long as they could refrain from cussing and have something to do with homeschooling. I appreciate how much interest you have in the HSBA, but this is my personal blog, so please send your HSBA inquiries to their email address or comments section.

I am only one of about ten to fifteen authors over there (along with guest authors). The awards will be open again this October and the rules are changing this year a bit - just to let you know up front so there won't be any misunderstandings. Assuming we don't get a ton of cussing and hostility in the comments section we won't need to clarify them again this year. The Homeschool Blog Awards is a site that offers public-choice awards (as well as daily homeschool related posts). We do the homeschool blog awards once a year via electronic poll voting set up by WordPress. The authors of HSBA are not responsible for choosing winners, only making sure that all the blogs nominated are family friendly.

Thanks for commenting. :)

Unknown said...

Dear Heather,

I wanted to let you know that Subway has revamped their Every Sandwich Tells a Story contest, reintroducing it as a Summer Special, running through August 31. They even took out a banner ad with Homeschooling Today magazine.

For all those who clamored about Subway excluding homeschoolers, now's the time to show them that we will indeed participate when they include us. The registration form I saw asks for the Child's School Name, so homeschoolers should make sure they enter something like Smith Family Homeschool, rather than Smith Academy.

The link to the contest is available on

Jim Bob



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