In a remarkable act of censorship, Argyll and Bute Council has sought to ban all photography in a school canteen, after one nine year old’s blog featuring pictures of school meals began to attract unwanted attention.
The Neverseconds blog, written by Martha Payne, featured photos of her school dinners and her reviews of the food, including how healthly the meal was and how much it cost.
Martha broke the news to readers saying: “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. Goodbye, VEG”
The Council responded bluntly: “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.”
The proverbial local authority sledgehammer has been deployed with spectacular results – worldwide condemnation of their heavy handed tactics.
The Council have absolutely no right to stop Martha taking photos.
It is an absurd waste of council time, jumping to an authoritarian infringement on a nine-year-old’s civil liberties rather than answer the entirely legitimate questions about the food they are providing for children.
The message from the public is clear – stop bullying this young girl and let her blog. The Council should concentrate on getting its own house in order rather than trying to silence a child’s freedom of expression.