No free happy meals for students

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 6:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 6:59 p.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. - A McDonald's promotion that promised free Happy Meals to Seminole County students with good grades and attendance has been stopped, amid complaints from a Boston-based child advocacy group.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood demanded McDonald's stop advertising on Seminole County School District report card jackets last month, after a parent complained when her child brought home a good report card and wanted a free Happy Meal.

Susan Pagen told her 9-year-old daughter, "Our family does not eat at fast food chains," Pagan said. "And, now I'm the bad guy."

"This is a good day for parents and children in Seminole County and anyone who believes that corporations should not prey on children in schools," Susan Linn, the co-founder and director of the campaign, said in a news release. "We are pleased that McDonald's is listening to parents all over the country who believe that report cards should not be commercialized.

The phone for Seminole County Public Schools rang unanswered Thursday evening.

"It was McDonald's decision to remove our trademarks from report card jackets in Seminole County, Florida, because we believe the focus should be on the importance of a good education," McDonald's USA spokesman Bill Whitman said in a statement. "McDonald's, not the school district, will cover the cost to reprint the report card jackets."

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