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Written by: Joe Donatelli
9-Year-Old School Lunch Blogger Martha Payne Cannot Be Silenced
Town that forbid tiny muckraker from taking her camera to school is forced to retreat.
A 9-year-old Scottish girl whose school lunch blog went viral was censored briefly by local authorities.
Yesterday Martha Payne, who goes by the writing handle "Veg" posted a note on her NeverSeconds school lunch blog 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:
Veg’s Dad, Dave, here. I felt it’s important to add a few bits of info to the blog tonight. 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 £2000 for charity is forced to end.
We're heard of bullies taking lunch money from students before, but for a town to take a lunch blog from a student? It kind of makes you want to meet the town's leaders at the playground at 3 p.m. sharp after school.
And we're not the only ones who thought so. Support for Payne poured in from Neil Gaiman, Jamie Oliver, The Guardian newspaper, social media and, most importantly, Scotland's minister of education. Shamed into proper action, the Argyll and Bute Council caved in hours later and gave the little girl her lunch blog back. Wired has a comprehensive roundup of this story, which you're encouraged to read here.