9-year-old UK student/blogger Martha Payne has sparked a ton of media interest (and controversy) the past few weeks after launching a website where she assesses and provides her opinions on her daily school cafeteria lunches.
Her website, neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk, features daily photos of cafeteria lunches alongside reviews, comments , health ratings, prices and an official food-o-meter rating. It’s also garnered over 2 million hits over the last two weeks and scored multiple shout-outs from top celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
And while Martha’s views of her daily meals aren’t always negative (she gave the last meal she reviewed a 10/10 and commented that another meal “helped cheer me up”), the backlash she received from school officials forced her to stop writing on the site.
Yesterday, after receiving news that she would no longer be allowed to take photos of her lunch, Martha wrote a goodbye post to her readers:
“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.
The goal of the website was to generate money for a school meals charity.
After significant Internet backlash against the ban of Martha’s school cafeteria photos, it was announced today that the decision had been reversed.
Council leader Roddy McCuish said today that There is no place for censorship in this council and never will be whilst I am leader.” He also praised Payne, referring to the 9-year-old as “an enterprising and imaginative pupil.”
As of today, almost $31,000 has been raised for the school meals charity thanks to Martha and her website.
Do you think Martha should have been banned from taking photos of her lunch?