September 12th, 1998

State PTA Chapter Opposes National PTA Group's Action

By Sandy Carmany
(Greensboro, NC) News & Record

As president of North Carolina PTA, I applaud your editorial questioning Office Depot’s sponsorship of the National PTA. For many years, PTA has held a strong stance against commercialism aimed at children and the classroom, making the TV commercials aimed at children with the National PTA’s name in the background particularly galling. Be aware that some members of the National PTA Board of Directors, of which I am a member, are questioning this decision into which we had no input.

Many PTA members are upset at the designation of Office Depot as ‘’National PTA’s Official School Supplies Headquarters’’ which clearly violates the basic policy in our bylaws that states, ‘’The name of the organization...shall not be used to endorse or promote a commercial concern....’’

When the North Carolina PTA board met in late July (long before this controversy became known to the public), we discussed this sponsorship and agreed that we would not support it because of this violation. To demonstrate our commitment to our principles, we voted to decline that free laptop computer. Since that time, several other state PTAs have taken that same action.

I am among a number of national board members who are advocating for stronger guidelines to strictly limit future sponsorship agreements in an attempt to protect PTA’s name and credibility in this increasingly commercial climate.  It is vital that other PTA members who share concerns about National PTAs recent wrong turn to express them immediately to the National PTA.

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