Is it common for public schools to directly market fast food to children under the guise of "school spirit"?
My son started 1st grade at public school this year. So far, about once a month, the Chick-fil-A cow shows up at their school, wanders the hall and hands out these fliers that say that the class with the most kids that show up and order fast food on Date X wins a free chicken nugget party with said cow and a free recess. The class in second place of the spending race gets a free recess.
Not only that, but he brings home fliers from the school that announce that "spirit night" is coming. Today, we got a call (from the system that I thought was designed to only be an emergency announcement system) that reminded us to go to Chick-fil-A and spend money. Then, when I picked him up from school, he and all the other kids were plastered with a giant branding sticker in the center of their little chests reminding the parents to take their kids to Chick-fil-A tonight.
He was heartbroken when I told him that we would not be going. Apparently, they've been drilling them all week about getting a "free party" and a "get out of class free" period.
Is this as outrageous as I think it is? Is it common, and I'm just overreacting?
My opinion is that I should call the ISD superintendent to inquire why the school is trying to turn my kid into a mindless fast-food eating consumer-bot. But other parents around here don't seem to think it's an issue, and in fact were taking pictures of their kids covered in branding standing next to the cow when school let out today.
Before I go all crusader on the school district, am I being irrational about this?
(For the record; I didn't have an issue with this company before all this marketing to my kid started, and tonight as I was trying to google whether this sort of marketing was common, I came across the information that Chick-fil-A supports tea-baggers and funds homophobic organizations...so thanks to their aggressive marketing to my 6 year old kid, they're now added to my ever growing "boycott" list.)