The IPA’s Hey … What Did I Miss pointed out the case of a nine-year-old Scottish schoolgirl who started a blog featuring pictures of school lunches with commentary and ratings on them. The blog, NeverSeconds was an instant success with over 2,000,000 hits and was involved in a charity for African kids. That was until the local council decided to ban it.
From the site:
This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today.Now fortunately, local and international outrage has forced the council to back down:
I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don’t think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary’s Meals either.
Veg’s Dad, Dave, here. I felt it’s important to add a few bits of info to the blog tonight. Martha’s school have been brilliant and supportive from the beginning and I’d like to thank them all. I contacted Argyll and Bute Council when Martha told me what happened at school today and they told me it was their decision to ban Martha’s photography.
It is a shame that a blog that today went through 2 million hits, which has inspired debates at home and abroad and raised nearly £2000 for charity is forced to end.
A controversial ban preventing a nine-year-old girl from photographing her school meals has been lifted following a storm of protest on the internet.Not knowing the British system, it is difficult to understand why the council is involved in the first place and never having been a bureaucrat, I am therefore unable to think with the sort of robotic mindset of the type of person who would consider such a ban to be a good idea. Perhaps one of our British readers can enlighten me.
Martha Payne, from Argyll, has now recorded more than three million hits on her NeverSeconds blog [Current figure over 6.5 million.]
Argyll and Bute Council said press coverage of the blog had led catering staff to fear for their jobs. But council leader Roddy McCuish later told the BBC he had instructed senior officials to lift the ban immediately. The schoolgirl's father, David Payne, who helped her set up the blog, welcomed the decision.
Martha began publishing photographs of her Lochgilphead Primary School lunches on 30 April. She gave each meal a 'food-o-meter' and health rating, and counted the number of mouthfuls it took her to eat it. She had been using the blog to raise money for the Mary's Meals charity. …
… Publicity caused by the ban helped the schoolgirl smash through her £7,000 fundraising target for the Mary's Meals charity - with total pledges of more than £30,000 being made by Friday afternoon. [Total now over £85,429]
It is a wonderful thing to see a child taking the initiative and starting something successful. She deserves every success she can achieve and should be encouraged as an example to others, not stamped down by local PC fascists.