A SCHOOLGIRL'S dinner blog has been banned by her local council.
The blog, called Never Seconds has drawn a lot of visitors already, with over two million hits since it was launched in April, but its author, nine year old Martha Payne of Argyll has been told that she must stop taking photos of her school dinners. Thus ending her extra curricular and very popular writing and money raising experiment.
"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," she writes in what might be her final post on the Never Seconds blog.
"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 treatment, of course, is bullshit of the highest order, and her dad explains that we and the nine year old girl have a council to thank for our disappointment.
"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," he added.
"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 £2,000 for charity is forced to end."
We've asked the council for more information, and if it comes up with something we'll report on it. Until it does, we will be forced to assume that it is worried about people seeing what it feeds its schoolchildren.
The PR team at Argyll and Bute Council has swung into action and defended its decision to ban the taking of photos of school dinners.
The ban is a reaction to reports in the press about school dinners and how bad they might be. Seeing photos of the food on a popular web site must have created a perfect storm of problems for the council as it decided that its only options were to make one young girl sad, and potentially do a charity out of a kitchen. That's some fine PR work in anyone's books.
In a statement it said that it maintains a "a strongly held view that the information presented in it misrepresented the options and choices available to pupils", and added that the press coverage caused distress among workers.
"This escalation means we had to act to protect staff from the distress and harm it was causing," it explains. "In particular, the photographic images uploaded appear to only represent a fraction of the choices available to pupils, so a decision has been made by the council to stop photos being taken in the school canteen."
It then told us some guff about the way meals are served, and how much choice there is. Information in which we have no interest. Better is the response from Mary's Meals, the charity that Martha, or Veg, has been supporting.
"Martha's support for Mary's Meals has been amazing and we are extremely grateful for everything that she has done to help us reach some of the hungriest children in the world," said a spokesperson. µ
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