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15 June 2012
A nine year old Scottish school girl who was banned from blogging about her school dinners has been publicly backed by celebrity chef and school dinner campaigner, Jamie Oliver.The chef used Twitter to come out in support of Martha Payne who took photographs of her school dinners and posted them on her blog, NeverSeconds, along with a score out of ten and a health rating.His post on the micro-blogging site told Martha, who has previously described as a “clever girl”, to “stay strong” and encouraged other users on the site to show their support by re-tweeting the message. Martha’s blog received over 2 million hits in just seven weeks and raised over £9,000 for charity, and lead to debates about school dinners all over the world. Some of her meals scored nine or even 10 out of 10, but Martha’s criticism of some of the meals she was served attracted newspaper headlines suggesting that her school catering staff should be sacked. Argyll and Bute Council reacted by banning her from blogging.In a statement it said: “Argyll and Bute Council wholly refutes the unwarranted attacks on its schools catering service which culminated in national press headlines which have led catering staff to fear for their jobs.”>>Tasty recipes for National Vegetarian Week>>Quick and easy delicious meals ready and on the table in 10 minutes!The council’s decision has led to a huge backlash on Twitter, with hundreds of people tweeting their support to Martha and criticising the council, making the it one of the most talked about subjects on the social networking site. In her goodbye post on the blog, Martha said: “I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos”.She added that she did not think she would reach her fundraising goal for the charity Mary’s Meals, which provides school meals in the developing world. Martha started the blog as part of a school writing project, and her father Dave said on the blog that her school had been “brilliant and supportive from the beginning.”The bestselling crime writer Ian Rankin highlighted the negative messages the council’s actions sent to children by tweeting at the council: “I spent yesterday trying to enthuse school pupils about creativity and the written word. So thanks a lot."Martha’s online supporters have launched a petition to force the council to overturn its decision. Check out Martha's blog here
>> Quick and easy family meals>> Easy recipes for traditional British meals
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Nine-year-old blogger banned from writing about her school dinners wins support of Jamie Oliver
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