School Shuts Down Elementary Student’s Blog On Cafeteria Food (Update: Ban Lifted!)

Image courtesy BBC News

Food blogs are beyond popular on the interwebs. But they’re evidently far less popular at one British primary school. A student who was photographing and blogging about the cafeteria meals has had her blog taken down by local officials. Essentially, she gave each meal a rating with a ‘food-o-meter’ as well as a health rating. She then counted the number of mouthfuls it took her to eat it.

The student, Martha (known on the blog as ‘Veg’), started the blog as part of a writing assignment with her father in April and had been using it to raise money for an international school dinners charity.

Record-Setting Donations

According to a spokesperson for Mary’s Meals, “Martha has now raised enough money to build a kitchen in Malawi for children receiving Mary’s Meals as part of our Sponsor A School initiative and has broken the record for hitting a Sponsor A School online fundraising target in the quickest amount of time”. Not too shabby. As of this writing, she had raised more than £18,000 in under 24 hours.

Shutting It Down

But local officials decided to shut it down because they did not like the publicity the site was generating. They said the blog made the catering staff fear for their jobs.

And the response on social media has been deafening. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver tweeted: “Stay strong Martha” before urging his 2.3 million followers to retweet the message to show their support for Martha.

Meal photographed by Martha on her blog, NeverSeconds

Lifting The Ban

It’s a testament to the power of social media and technology. As of this writing, the ban has since been lifted on Martha’s photography because of the online storm that happened. The ban was short-lived but raises a lot of questions.

How Would You Respond?

In the meantime, it might be a good time to think about how YOUR school would handle this type of thing. If a student started blogging about cafeteria food, would you do anything? What if that blog started impacting the jobs of the cafeteria workers? What if it started to cast a negative light on the school?

Weigh in over at our Facebook page and join the conversation with us on Twitter today.