First, the bummer news: After various news reports bashed a Scottish school and its lunches, which were the subject of a 9-year-old student’s food blog, school officials told the girl she couldn’t take photos in the cafeteria, rendering her blog pointless. Now the yay news: a local official ordered the school to reverse the ban after just one day.
Martha first started blogging on “Never Seconds” about six weeks ago, taking pictures of her sometimes uninspiring, unappetizing meals and posting them with comments and her ratings of the food. Her blog was set up as a project to help raise money for a school-meals charity, and soon gained attention from around the world. Her school also changed up its meals to make them more healthful.
Yesterday, she was told she had to stop taking photos, as local officials said the photos were “misleading” and had caused distress to cafeteria staff, reports the Washington Post.
Apparently a particularly scathing report headlined “Fire the Dinner Ladies” had ticked off the school, and it complained about “unwarranted attacks on its schools catering service” and said the blog “misrepresented the options and choices available to pupils.” As a result, it announced that no photos could be taken in the school canteen.
Martha wrote what she thought would be her last post yesterday, titled “Goodbye.”
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.
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.
Her dad added a note to the post, explaining that “Martha’s school have been brilliant and supportive from the beginning and I’d like to thank them all,” and that he’d contacted the council about the ban.
A quick Internet storm gathered after the photo ban, causing the council to order school officials to reverse it. The leader of the council called Martha “an enterprising and imaginative pupil.”
“There is no place for censorship in this council and never will be whilst I am leader,” he added.
All of this publicity has been good for Mary’s Meals, the charity Martha promotes on her blog. Donations went from around $4,700 to almost $31,000 as of today.
You go, girl.
*Thanks for the tips, Victoria and Kristina!