Blog ban overturned

By Alex Veeneman on June 15, 2012

One of the meals that Martha Payne rated.
(Photo courtesy of the Neverseconds blog)

A council government in Scotland has lifted a ban on a Martha Payne from writing a blog on food called Neverseconds.

Payne, a 9 year old student, started the blog as a writing project with her father, according to a report from the BBC. The reversal of the Council’s action comes after an international outcry on social media outlets criticizing the move, including from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Speaking to the BBC, Payne’s father Dave said that before the blog was launched, other blogs had been examined, and she liked blogs with photographs. “It’s very much written by her, and it can be enjoyed on many levels,” Payne said.

In an earlier statement, the Council said the move was done to protect the jobs of catering staff at the school. “The Council has directly avoided any criticism of anyone involved in the ‘never seconds’ blog for obvious reasons despite a strongly held view that the information presented in it misrepresented the options and choices available to pupils however this escalation means we had to act to protect staff from the distress and harm it was causing,” the statement read. “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.”

However, in a statement by the Council’s leader Roddy McCuish, McCuish ordered officials to reverse the ban. “There is no place for censorship in this Council and never will be whilst I am leader,” McCuish said. “I  have advised senior officers that this Administration intends to clarify the Council’s policy position in regard to taking photos in schools.”

McCuish added in a BBC interview that he encouraged Payne to continue the blog, and is to meet with Payne and her parents next week with regard to the matter.

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