Petition Seeks Chick-fil-A’s Removal from Paulding Schools

The petition’s aim is to have the school district stop utilizing the restaurant chain for fundraising efforts.

A national restaurant chain’s support of a nonprofit labeled by some as a hate group has sparked a petition aimed at having the Paulding County School System cease its ties to the chain.

A petition on change.org calls for the school district to stop using Chick-fil-A as a fundraising partner. It was started by a user named Reagan Stewart, identified as a resident of Douglasville.

“It deeply saddens me to see that the school my daughter attends is still selling their product each and every Thursday morning,” Stewart writes in the petition. “I'm well aware of the views that the president of Chick-fil-A Dan Cathy has towards the [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community. I have no issue with that. This is a free country and his opinions are free for him to express.

“My issue is that [Cathy’s] company is actively donating millions of dollars to certified hate groups like The Family Research Council (FRC) that are actively seeking to promote discrimination towards and lobbying for legislation against the LGBT community. … Although the school is not actually donating money to known hate groups. The school is helping to do just that.”

“Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. … Our intent is not to support political or social agendas,” the restaurant chain said in a statement in September. “As we have stated, the Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”

Chick-fil-A has given to the Family Research Council in the past, the Huffington Post reports.

According to its website, the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council advances “faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.” It is a nonprofit “whose vision is a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish and religious liberty thrives,” it adds.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010 labeled the Family Research Council as a hate group, writing that the organization had been a “a font of anti-gay propaganda throughout its history.” One example, the SPLC wrote, was that two of the FRC’s senior research fellows pushed false accusations linking gay men to pedophilia.

“I'm asking for the immediate removal of all connections to this company until the company can remove the donations to these know [sic] certified hate groups,” Stewart wrote. “I have no issue with the opinion's [sic] of these people I just have very strong feeling of our school system indirectly financially supporting them.”

Stewart’s online petition as of early Friday had 188 supporters, but not all signatures have been from Paulding. Some of those who have signed onto the digital document have identified themselves as being from Rome, Marietta, Sandy Springs and Atlanta.

Should the Paulding County School System sever its ties to Chick-fil-A? Tell us in the comments.

Paulding Schools Associate Superintendent Brian Otott said he had received an email from Stewart containing the petition. He said Chick-fil-A is utilized by many schools and school clubs across the district.

“Probably the majority of our schools in one way or another, fundraise through Chick-fil-A. A lot of them do morning biscuit sales once a week,” Otott said, adding that in some instances, the school may put on the sale and put the proceeds toward student achievement efforts, while in other instances, school clubs hold the sales for their fundraising purposes.

“Fundraisers are approved by the [school] board. They have to have a specific purpose tied into either supporting students, clubs or the school,” Otott added. “We do not basically support any social or political agendas through our fundraising, and as I said in [an email response to Stewart], we completely understand those who may not participate in a fundraiser because of that.”

Otott said that before a fundraising request is approved it is sent to the district’s coordinator of local school administration for review. If approved, fundraisers are then submitted to the board of education as a point of information for its review.

“Generally, a fundraiser is a local school decision. We don’t dictate who they can and cannot work with for fundraisers,” Otott said. “It comes for approval, yes, but there are many different groups—we don’t micromanage their fundraiser process. We expect them to make choices that are in the best interest of the school and we don’t say, ‘This is a list of people you can use, and this is a list of people you can’t use.’ We’re not going to do that.”

On Aug. 1 of this year, supporters of the national chain flocked into restaurant locations across the country in observance of “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” a campaign spearheaded by, among others, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Nearly 675,000 people reported going to a restaurant on the campaign’s Facebook page. Paulding residents were likely among them, as YouTube user LeesRebelDad uploaded video shot that day inside the restaurant’s Hiram location; the video showed dozens of customers waiting to order or sitting at tables eating (the video is attached to this article).

You can keep up with all the news in Dallas and Hiram by subscribing to our free daily newsletter and breaking news alerts, liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. We also have apps for your Android or iPhone that can bring you news, our business listings, weather forecasts and more.

Cheryl November 30, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I totally agree w ur points. What about when Wal-Mart was giving jobs over seas, or Target won't let the Salvation Army stand out in front of their stores. They both give money 2 our school systems & we may not agree w their views. We need all the money we can get.
Ben Clark November 30, 2012 at 08:46 PM
and exactly how many children do you have in Paulding County Schools? Do the research. There is a lot of misinformation and extreme exagerration about Chick-fil-A supporting what some refer to as "hate groups". CFA only donated $1000 to Family Research Council, not the millions that some have stated. In recent years, CFA has donated over $68 million to all charitable causes. The donation to FRC represents only 0.0014705% of CFA's donations. Chick-fil-A does a lot of good for schools and communities. I fully support CFA!!!
Ben Clark November 30, 2012 at 09:05 PM
I Signed it and encouraged others to do the same.
Debbie Carroll Hill November 30, 2012 at 09:27 PM
I am in agreement with you Rob! 100% support here!
Gracie Ryan November 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Exactly, this Reagan Stewart is obviously upset over the fact that this is a company with moral values, but is afraid to come out and admit that that is the reason he is up in arms.
Charles Walthour November 30, 2012 at 10:51 PM
It's not about chicken...it's about moral, ethics and principles. Stand strong Paulding!
Cindy Crawford November 30, 2012 at 11:42 PM
I fully support Chick -fil-a as a fund raiser here in Paulding Co. . If Mrs Stewart is unhappy with this she need not participate. Don't allow one person who is easily offended mess things up for the majority. Sometimes people have been calling groups in support of traditional marriage a hate group. This is a false ajenda using hate of traditional marriage as a focus. Now that is a hate group and ajenda. People need to realize who the haters really are, if you support traditional marriage is not hate!!!!! However to falsely accuse is hate!!!!
Susan w Mounts November 30, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Ms Stewart needs to eat more Chicken. ...all she is spewing is BALONEY. ...check your facts chik. ...and what have you done for the good of Paulding or the fine folks that peacefully live here? They are not haters BUT you, on the other hand, are trying to provide fuel. Keep the chik fil a. OORAH
Susan w Mounts December 01, 2012 at 12:21 AM
okay....I get it now..........Good Grief...........Really? Please tell me that no one is takiing this person seriously.....thanks for the heads up Mona
Juanita December 01, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I would like to ask this Stewart Man and Deborah Hammitt. Have you checked your heart Chick Fil A is NOT the HATE group it is people like you. I Also must ask where is the Companies that support Gays RIGHTS and that MURDER UNBORN BABIES. All their MONEY goes to this JUNK and doesn't SUPPORT SCHOOLS. Old Navy , J C Penny's, AT&T , Mac Donalds I could go on an on, but POINT is Regan Stewart & Deborah Hammitt you are EXPRESS HATE in your own home. I feel sorry for the STEWART CHILD this will get around in HER school. Have you thought of the HATE that you are EXPRESSING in her little LIFE ??? So if she feels the HATE at SCHOOL you can't BLAME Chick Fil A you can BLAME yourself. As A CHRISTIAN I AM SO SICK OF THE ATTACKS on CHRISTIANS and MY RIGHTS. SO I DON'T PLAN on SETTING back and taking it any more. I am ashamed this came from MY HOMETOWN where I WOULD HOPE WE DIDN'T HAVE THIS KIND OF HATE and Stupid way of thinking. Hey another question ARE you going to MATCH what Chick Fil A does ???? Just wondering
Andrea McGill December 01, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I no longer live in Paulding but I went to school in Paulding and graduated from EPHS. I completely agree with what CFA stands for and I support them 100%. They have always supported our school system and they need to continue to do so!! Ms. Stewart either needs to choose not to support that particular fundraiser or put her daughter in a school in Douglas County where she lives!! But, I've got news for her...CFA is a big part of fundraising in Douglas also!!! She is out of luck either way, so she needs to take her petition and throw it in the trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bailey Cash December 01, 2012 at 02:00 AM
I enjoy going to school on Fridays and picking up a biscuit... This better not stop simply due to morals of a company. It's sad.
Bailey Cash December 01, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Douglasville covers South Paulding as well.
RanAir 43 December 01, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Sounds great. Let's invite Reagan.
Melanie December 01, 2012 at 04:47 AM
And it should not stop due to LACK of morals by the one person that started the petition.
Tina Dendy December 01, 2012 at 06:00 AM
This is the most ignorant topic of discussion our schools should have to worry about!!! If Ms Stewart doesn't feel like funding CFA due to their beliefs then don't,but to try and turn the entire county against then serving to the school....pure stupidity!!! It's a warm chicken biscuit,better than a pop-tart...Some kids out there don't get breakfast at home and I'm sure their parents aprreciate the fact that they have this option!!! Of all going on in our Country.....Just sayin....And that's my freedom to speak....Get a life lady!!!!
Leland Goins December 01, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Ok take a look at her picture on her web site. She has too much time on her hands.
Debi Dugger December 03, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Believing what the Bible says and standing up for those beliefs does not make one a hater. The Chick-Fil-A family has as much right to stand up for their beliefs as the liberal community has...maybe even more because being morally upright has been the accepted norm in this country much longer than being gay has been accepted! Why does the minority haveore rights than the majority?
K December 03, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I am in support for all people. However I am not in support for taking CFA out of the county school system. Yes Chick fil A has morals and they have always stood for those morals and values. They are still closed on Sunday. But you have a choice to either buy a chiken biscuit and support the fundraiser or not. Do not ask for one political agenda to take away a great program for the greater good of the county and these school kids functions this provides. There will always be one aspect that you may not like and you can choose not to support that company, but do not ask the majority to go without just becuase you don't agree. I am sick of the minority always trying to push their agenda on the majority. THe majority needs to take back our morals and values and quit being pushed around. Yes, I think everyone is equal but not when it comes to a political group pushing thier agenda on America where we were founded on biblical morals and values and the majority of this country is still biblical and has a high moral and values but will respect those who do not have bibilical morals and principals and treat you with respect, until you try crap like this.
Debi Dugger December 03, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Why is it that all the businesses that support gay causes, support a woman's supposed right to kill her unborn child and other liberal agendas don't get hammered and a business who stands up for good and moral values gets torn apart?
Cindy Bell December 03, 2012 at 10:38 PM
That is stupidest thing I ever heard of...get a life Reagan....
Cindy Bell December 03, 2012 at 10:57 PM
AMEN!! Debi!
susan cromer December 04, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Chik-Fil-A does a lot of good things for all school systems. Also in communities. Sounds like Reagan has a lot of problems herself. all we can do is pray for her and keep eating chik_fil_a
Ron crist December 05, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Ron Crist In no way am I a hater. Yes I will sign it also.
Susan December 06, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Like others I agree that if you don't like it then do not buy the Chick Filet Biscuit! I guess this person wants us to support her beliefs even if she doesn't support ours. Really? 2 Way Street people!
Jan Desaulniers December 08, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Chick-Fil-A is not a hate group and people who do not support gay marriage do not hate gay people. It is people like yourself that have hate in their hearts. You have misunderstood my right to a belief as hate. You on the other hand hate me just because I don't have the same belief as you? Really? Chick-Fil-a has helped so many people in the United States and are a great organization and school supporter. What have you done for your community?
Jan Desaulniers December 08, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I am in total agreement with you. Just because Chick-Fil-A and I do not support gay marriage does not equate to us hating anyone. We simply have different beliefs and they are not forcing those beliefs on any child in the school. Unfortunately, people who are gay and believe in gay marriage are filled with hate for those who do not carry their beliefs. Sad that this person would try to get rid of a wonderful business that provides a lot of support for the school districts.
Mojo413 December 08, 2012 at 02:08 PM
If a parent does not want to support Chick-Fil-A seems like a simple solution for them is to not give their child any money to buy a biscuit on Thursday morning. My advice to the parent is get over it.
Tim Timmons September 06, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Wow!! Just wow!! The level of justified ignorance of the people who have commented here is mind blowing!! First of all, CFA IS blatantly discriminatory to our gay brothers and sisters......Gods children btw. This poster doesn't have a political agenda, it's not about your opinion of what a marriage should or should not be, it's not about the amount of money or all of the other "good" things that CFA does for the community,it isn't about you being "sick of the minority pushing their agenda onto the majority...... This is about a business that took a public stance in alienating a minority group , divisiveness, making a stand for inequality and intolerance and then hypocritically hiding behind the shield of the bible. If Dan Cathy( and anyone else for that matter) says that they believe in the bible then you also believe that my children should be stoned to death when they don't obey me. You should believe that slavery in a natural condition and that slaves should obey their masters. You should believe that round haircuts are forbidden, divorce is prohibited, sex while on menstrual cycle is punishable by death. And if you do not believe these things, then you can't possibly believe in the bible and you should climb down off you moral high horse and stop your spewing of your righteous moral crap! Bottom line...... If Paulding county continues to align themselves with CFA, they will continue to send the wrong message of divisiveness, exclusion, intolerance and bigotry. Fact! NO child who has parents of the same gender should have to face coming to school, feeling hurt and excluded and to see you bigots feeding yourselves in support of hate! Ask yourselves... Wwjd? I'm sure he wouldn't be eating CFA!!
Debi Dugger September 07, 2013 at 09:57 AM
Tim...Sept 6. You are almost a year late sounding off on this debate!!! Get over it...Chik-Fil-A sells a great product and they are here to stay!!! If someone doesn't like what they stand for then don't support them...but by the same token those who want to support them should be allowed the same freedom. Those on the side of liberal agendas too often want their choice to be THE choice instead of A choice!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something