Decatur High Boosters Kiss Off Chick-fil-A

The club won't sell Chick-fil-A products at sporting events, but the club leaders say it's a business decision, not because of the gay marriage controversy.

The Decatur High Bulldog Boosters (DBB) will not sell products at concession stands during athletic events, but club leaders say it's not because the fast-food chain donates money to groups that oppose gay marriage.

Club leader Bill Ainslie said the booster club, which raises money for and school athletic programs, had talked about finding other vendors for several years.

This year the DBB sought and received bids that beat Chick-fil-A's, he said. Dairy Queen sandwiches were sold Aug. 18 at a scrimmage football game at Bulldog Stadium.

When asked about the timing of the club's decision while Chick-fil-A's president is under fire for opposing gay marriage, Ainslie said, "People were aware [of the gay marriage issue] and everybody views it in a different light. That was not part of the decision the board made."

Decatur's Chick-fil-A has long been involved in community and school activities such as spirit nights.

The booster club has sold Chick-fil-A at school concession stands for years. The restaurant is located across the street from Decatur High and is a popular after-school hangout for students.

But because Decatur has such a high concentration of same-sex couples, the local Chick-fil-A was put in the spotlight when criticism of Chick-fil-A's gay marriage stance mounted.

On Aug. 3, a highly publicized there to protest the company's position on gay marriage.

Patch asked Decatur Chick-fil-A owners John and Cristina Crays to comment, but they said in an email they're not talking to the press about this.

What's your opinion? Should Chick-fil-A be sold at school events in Decatur?

Patch also telephoned and emailed the Chick-fil-A corporate communications office but didn't receive a response.

Booster club chairman Terry Conway also said the change was a business decision. He said in an email to Patch,

As we do every year, we review our "business" and look for opportunities for improvements.  Keeping our customer in mind, we aim to keep our prices as low as we can and still be able to make money for our sports programs.  As part of our continuing improvement efforts, the DBB is exploring ways to support additional City of Decatur businesses, as these businesses have supported our efforts throughout the years.

Ainslie said the DBB could decide to put Chick-fil-A back on the concession stand menu. "It's entirely concievable that in time -- maybe after this season -- we'll go back to Chick-fil-A," he said.

Patch asked Heather K. Borowski, director of Instructional Media and Communications for the City Schools of Decatur, if any CSD schools stopped using Chick-fil-A for spirit night or other events. Here's her response.

We'd like for our community to know that City Schools of Decatur has a strong non-discrimination policy and a long history of inclusiveness of all children and families.  While we support the rights of parents and teachers to voice their opinions, it is not within the purview of the school system to make political statements using school system resources.  Policy GAHB prohibits staff from engaging in political activities during the time spent in their commission of their school system duties.  CSD staff who act as representatives of CSD to any other organization must refrain, in that capacity, from making statements or engaging in activities that give the appearance of endorsement of a position by the school system.

 Parents should be guided by their individual consciences and beliefs. Teachers and staff have the right to their opinions and express them in the spirit of free speech, on their own time.

Some of our schools have several spirit nights scheduled throughout the semester with different City of Decatur businesses.  Parents are welcome to pick and choose where they eat and spend their money.  Some parent groups are looking at local businesses that can offer the schools larger profits; other parent groups want to give multiple local businesses the opportunity to sponsor school and athletic events.

Here are some previous Patch stories about Chick-fil-A.

Local Chick-fil-A owners write blog to the public.

Ralph Ellis August 27, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Do you support the DBB decision?
DecaturDon August 27, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Of course I support this decision. It's smart to steer clear of Chik-Fil-A regardless of what the public justification may be.
bulldogger August 27, 2012 at 04:34 PM
No matter what side of the political fence you sit on, the timing of this switch just smells funny. You know, we all have our opinions and to put yourself in a position that looks like you're taking sides is just not what I'd expect. If the DBABC want to be really fair and remove the controversy from the public eye, a compromise would be something that should at least be looked at......what about having both (Chick-Fil-A and Dairy Queen) chicken sandwiches at the concession stands for the five home games in the 2012 football season and the entire basketball season and let your customers decide? The DBABC should not involve itself in political controversies which may, or may not have been intentional. Also, the profit from the sale of whatever kind of chicken sandwiches being sold is such a small part of the overall revenue of the DBABC that it is not a good argument for switching.
Brandt Hardin August 28, 2012 at 01:33 AM
If companies are people and people vote with dollars then the destination of the restaurant’s donations are open for public debate. It very well should be an issue as to where peoples’ hard-earned money goes after the chicken goes down their gullet. This issue has made our little feathered friend the modern martyr as Chick-fil-A laughs all the way to the bank. Watch the poultry be nailed to the cross and pierced by the spear of destiny at the hands of those devious cows on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/holy-rollin-poultry-on-cross-chick-fil.html
Firefly August 28, 2012 at 01:47 AM
They shouldn't be selling it for a bunch of reasons. The number one should be that they are filled with MSG which causes asthma! I almost died that last time I ate one of their sandwiches.
Drew Plant August 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Good for the boosters for not selling it...and for finding a good way to couch their decision so that they are not wading into the fray. Best not to support institutionalized bigotry and the funding of hate groups.
s. Smith August 28, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Just another reason I'm glad I only visit beautiful, fun, and funky Decatur and don't live there. Get a life, people, - me and I suspect most people are tired of all this divisiveness over a chicken sandwich! I defend everyone's right to have an opinion and state it, but if we all based our decisions on what to buy on the political opinions of the providers, I doubt if we would eat or buy anything - a great way to get this eceonomy on a roll again!
bulldogger August 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM
@Drew Plant - Best not to support institutionalized bigotry and the funding of hate groups. Really, REALLY......You know, Drew, I echo the thoughts of Mr. Booker of NJ who said, in so many words......"That makes me want to vomit". Me thinks you'd better go look in the mirror and see who the "HATER" really is.
Keith August 29, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Well put s. Smith.
Nancy B. Shaw August 30, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Of course the decision to oust Chik Fil A was due to the now famous statement. So very ridiculous. The man is entitled to his opinion. So what !! The restaurant does not prevent anyone from eating there and all who enter are treated wonderfully -- no matter what your lifestyle. Is it going to come down to having all businesses posting their personal beliefs before people give them their patronage ? Get over it everyone, eat chicken or not -- who cares !! And by the way, why is the Patch only putting endorsements of Obama on here and not giving equal time to Romney? Just askin' .
Ralph Ellis August 30, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Nancy, Thanks for your question. Patch local editors work independently of any advertiser influence. Just as our blogging platform welcomes wide-ranging perspectives on a variety of topics, Patch's ad sales team welcomes queries from all candidates and stakeholders in the 2012 elections. Ralph Ellis
Decaturette August 30, 2012 at 01:28 PM
To be honest, I would read Patch more if there was less politics or it cut off comments earlier. Who wants to read 60 posts worth of divisive vitriol that isn't going to persuade anyone of anything? It's just venting, not communication. I know that other forums are worse but Patch has such a nice community feel to it that I wish there was a way to limit the political grandstanding that distracts from the rest of the site.
bulldogger September 02, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Hey, did y'all all watch the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic last night in Atlanta featuring Clemson and Auburn? C'mon now, I know some of you who just hate CFA like football and you watched it......It's OK to to be a hypocrite once in a while so let's hear it.....great game with Clemson coming out on top, thank goodness.
Scott Tewell September 02, 2012 at 03:35 PM
You've been burning up the boards lately bd. ever try paying attn to something other than politics? And btw, watching a show sponsored by CFA is hardly hypocrisy. It's free you know.
bulldogger September 02, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I have varied interests, Scott and BTW, it's good to hear from you, haven't seen any posts from you lately and I thought maybe you'd packed up and moved away. You know, it's very hard to concentrate on mundane things when the future of the country I love so very much is in jeopardy because of politics. And I beg to differ with you Scott (I know, it doesn't happen very often, sarcasm being intentional) but it actually is hypocrisy when you won't eat at CFA because you say their company promotes bigotry and hatred toward a certain group and then you watch a football game sponsored by them. Eating, watching.....same thing, Scott. Have a nice week!!!!!
john penn September 03, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Scott....Politics pervades everything now. Getting off of chicken for a moment(again), have you seen or heard a movement for multiple partner marriage? Would not the arguments be similar to those which have supported gay marriage? Would you be in favor of it? Maybe the blogger "Ask a Lesbian" can weigh in with an opinion piece.
Scott Tewell September 03, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Couldn't care less, John. My opinions, or yours, about someone else's private behavior is a waste of time. And with that...
john penn September 06, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Private behavior has become public thanks(or no thanks) to social media and internet blogs...including this one. And with that....


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