Subway disallows homeschoolers from contest

The radio shows have been talking about Subway's refusal to allow homeschooled children from participating in its "Every Sandwich Tells a Story" contest. The fine print reads:

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.

There's no explanation given as far as I can tell. Sure, Subway is a private entity and can exclude anyone they wish to, but so can I exclude them from associating with me. No more Subway for me.

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the prize helps explain it

The prize for the contest is $5000 of playground equipment and the point of the contest was to support schools who needed it. How one would justify giving that specific prize to a homeschooler isn't clear, esp. if the point was to reward the child's school not the child. So this seems a reasonable restriction on their part (and it is their right of course) and not worth boycotting them over.

a bit

They could give $5000 to homeschoolers in a different form - perhaps a scholarship or books or computers.

The problem with that is

The problem with that is that they (presumably) want to donate something that will be used by many children. Anything they give to a homeschooler is likely to be used by only a few.

Also, would it be tax-deductible? I don't think a charity set up to benefit a single individual is tax-deductible. I guess it would still be deductible as a business expense, but then the parents would probably have to pay taxes on it. Or something.

I don't see why home-schooled students should be ineligible for the other prizes, though.

So let the home schoolers

So let the home schoolers donate the equipment to their town or neighborhood? I don't see why they need to be excluded. Most homeschoolers I know make extensive use of public facilities (especially the library). How about allowing them to donate the money for "fitness" literature for their local library?

Agreed. The prize is

Agreed. The prize is inappropriate for homeschooled kids, and this really is mostly a charitable gesture by Subway. Nothing to get your panties in a twist over.

Bad PR

Suppose it was suntan lotion and they said nobody of color accepted. Still bad PR however rational on the surface. Prize can always be redesigned to avoid restriction and thus to avoid bad taste in mouth.

And Subway has now

And Subway has now responded:

My explanation above appears to be correct and:

"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!"

You can patronize Subway with a clean conscience now.

(HT: David Beito at Liberty and Power)