LAST CALL: Teachers condemn McDonald's help

McDonald's found itself frying in the court of public opinion after offering South San Francisco educators the opportunity to pour shakes, flip burgers, and serve patrons in a fundraiser that puts teachers behind the counter for one evening.

McDonald's found itself frying in the court of public opinion after offering South San Francisco educators the opportunity to pour shakes, flip burgers, and serve patrons in a fundraiser that puts teachers behind the counter for one evening.

While the "McTeachers" night program has been held for 2,500 schools in 14 states, some Bay Area teachers complained that it promotes unhealthy eating habits at a time when childhood obesity is on the rise.

The story wound up in the San Francisco Chronicle, but Patsy Barich of DuDell & Associates, the Berkeley, CA-based PR firm handling the promotion, was less than impressed. Barich told the paper McDonald's has heard the arguments before.

"Kids like to go to McDonald's, that's the bottom line," Barich said.

"So this is an easy way for schools to raise money. Some hold carnivals and sell cotton candy. Is that any better?"

Maybe not for the tots' waistlines, but certainly for the teachers' egos.

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