Scottish school staff have thin skin…

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No more free speech for Martha

Blog Ban: Girl’s School Meal Pictures Stopped  Martha Payne started the NeverSeconds blog six weeks ago, posting images and opinions about what she had been served for lunch at her school’s cafeteria in Lochgilphead, Argyll.
She has also used the site to raise money for Mary’s Meals, a charity which runs school feeding projects in deprived communities around the world.  Her blog gives a score out of 10, a “health rating” and even the number of hairs found in each meal.  It has been supported by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who tweeted: “Shocking but inspirational blog. Keep going. Big love from Jamie x.”

Distressful: “Macaroni Cheese at school is so creamy and it’s nice to have it with the crunchy radishes and peppers.”

But on Thursday night Martha posted a goodbye message, which said: “This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my headteacher 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 will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I’ll miss seeing the dinners you send me too.”She added that she feared the ban would stop her from reaching her £7,000 fundraising target for Mary’s Meals. But as a result of the ensuing publicity – and her blog trending on Twitter – the amount of money raised for the charity has soared from £2,000 to more than £11,000.
A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council confirmed that a decision had been made by the council to ban the taking of photographs in the school canteen.  He said the school meals were nutritionally balanced and that the council had to act to protect staff from the “distress and harm” the blog’s “unwarranted attacks” was causing.
“The council has had no complaints for the last two years about the quality of school meals other than one from the Payne family received on June 6 and there have been no changes to the service on offer since the introduction of the blog,” he added.
Some of the distressful and harmful comments the Council (the VAST majority appear after she was forced to quit posting pictures of her meals) I read:

  • I find it difficult to see how this meal can cost anybody in the UK £2 to create unless they pay your dinner staff banker’s wages.
  • I am thoroughly appalled at what your school has considered a proper meal for a student!
  • But I feel sad that your lunches are so terrible and with little nutrition.
  • I find it incredibly sad that someone like that feels they have to come here and even attempt to justify feeding this mostly nutritionally empty stuff to school kids.
  • I can’t believe that you only get fruit if you finish your meal.

To the Council and the staff I say, “You’re a wee scunner!”

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0 responses to “Scottish school staff have thin skin…

  1. well,now…it’s more appealing than a ladle of oatmeal
    although I throw a can of tuna into my hotdish….
    but $3 … I guess that does include a bit of fruit and maybe
    some milk and it is rather pretty 🙂

  2. That’s a lunch? Can they spare it? That is literally five bites of food.

  3. edward oleander

    Censorship is always bad. Censorship of children is worse, because of what that teaches them. Censoring a child trying to make a positive change in the world pretty much hits rock bottom.
    Hopefully she will get beyond this and not grow up into a frustrated, self-hating Scottish council member…

  4. lowtechgrannie

    Memories of school food, good and bad, stay with you forever. My sister and I often look back on the delicious little dixie cup ice creams when potato chips were crumbled and stirred into the soupy mess, the relentless and HUGE squares of cornbread, disgusting canned veggies and the thrill of an odd little triangular little sandwich called a “weiner wink.”


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