NeverSeconds blogger Martha Payne ‘banned’ from taking school dinner photos
A nine-year-old girl who became an internet hit after blogging about her school dinners claims she has been banned from taking photographs of her meals.
Martha Payne, from Argyll, began publishing photographs of her school canteen lunches on 30 April.
Her NeverSeconds blog got more than two million hits in just a few weeks.
But in a post published on Thursday evening, Martha said her headteacher told her not to take any more photos.
Under the headline “Goodbye”, the post stated: “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.”
Martha gave each meal a ‘food-o-meter’ and health rating, and also counted the number of mouthfuls it took for her to eat.
The council’s decision to impose the ban came after the Daily Record newspaper published a photograph of Martha alongside chef Nick Nairn under the headline “Time to fire the dinner ladies..”
Martha had been using the blog – which she started with the help of her father Dave – to raise money for the Mary’s Meals charity.
An explanatory note posted on the blog by her father read: “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 £2,000 for charity is forced to end.”
Mr Payne later told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme his daughter was not happy about the council’s decision.
He added: “I can see that the photographs at the start didn’t look the most appetising, but Martha marked the last school meal 10 out of 10.
“I understand that it’s brought pressure from around the world and media interest, but that is really out of our control.
“But we are very supportive of the school – the fact that she has been encouraged to blog and she got permission to do this is testament to them.
“Everyone in the kitchens has been wonderful to Martha and she enjoys going into lunch every day.”
Martha’s blog was featured by media across the globe, with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver tweeting: “Shocking but inspirational blog. Keep going, big love from Jamie x.”
Among the pictures she published was one featuring her £2 lunch of a pizza slice, a croquette, sweetcorn and a cupcake.
Martha wrote: “I’m a growing kid and I need to concentrate all afternoon and I can’t do it on one croquette. Do any of you think you could?”
Argyll and Bute Council has so far not responded to Martha’s claim.
But in a statement released last month, it said: “Our school meal provision is fully compliant with nationally agreed nutritional standards.
“Young people make a choice from at least two meals and salad, vegetable, yoghurt and cheese options are available each day.”
Source: BBC News
Original story: Girl’s school lunch blog is a hit 11 MAY 2012, NEWS
What are the Argyll and Bute Council afraid of? Can a nine-year-old girl really shame them? Are they embarrassed?
If they are, then they should be.
This girl has a great future, she has shown that by her tenacity with this project.
The next step is to take the Argyll and Bute Council down, show them who is boss, show them that they are the people’s representative, show them that they are not there to run rough-shod over nine-year-old girls who have a right to express their opinions.
The question of legality needs to be looked at. Is this girl within her rights to take photographs? Have they banned all children from taking photographs?
Every child in the school, apart from this girl who has been banned from doing so, should photograph their school lunches, or just Megans and supply her with the image to continue her blog.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat.