Sunday, 17 June 2012

Martha Payne and the Story of Neverseconds: What I posted at Google Plus: Well Done Martha, You're a Star

This post is a look back on my g+ posts on Friday 15 June 2012 about the story of nine year old Martha and how her one simple idea of reporting her school dinners caused so much uproar. I've included all comments in this post too, as you will see new media like this demands I post and reply as soon as possible. We then have a conversation.



Here's a video opener if you are new to this story .. 101,000 views at YouTube ..



Post 1 9:03am: Dan McDermott +named me in a post. I reshare ..



15 Jun 2012  -  Public
School banned for blogging photos of her school dinners despite raising money for charity .. What is wrong with the British School System and the people's attitudes within it?

I'm doing more work on this story today, but this is the original post by +Dan McDermott and my comment to him:

Dan, thanks for this. Prehistoric attitude like this and saving themselves, is why I could not teach inside a British School. Everything is defaulted to No and negative ..

Martha Payne needs to be congratulated and welcomed into every community in the land for her work. Not given her first lesson in closed mind thinking. The head teacher needs to back her or resign, simple as that.

I've head many stories how children at secondary school in the UK are isolated for having the wrong hair colour, jewelry and missing exams for wearing trainers .. Welcome to Britain Dan ..



Dan McDermott originally shared this post:
Please check out this Scottish 9-year-old girl's blog of lunch pictures which has now been banned by her school.

Story: http://goo.gl/RHWIQ

#freedomofspeech  +Lord Parker +Mike Downes 
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 to...

5 comments

Matthew Olney15 Jun 2012

sadly the headteachers attitude isn't unique, pretty much every area of life is filled with people trying to cover up the crap and condemning those who have the guts to expose them.

theo kuechel15 Jun 2012

Was going to post on this myself - but pleased to see others have already done so. Couple of quick comments:

On reading the blog which is now estimated to be  getting c.200 hits per hour, and of Martha's charity fund raising achievements, It appears that Martha has demonstrated many of the capacities and attributes of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/thecurriculum/whatiscurriculumforexcellence/thepurposeofthecurriculum/index.asp

One would have though that  A&B council as providers of educational service might have read, (and digested), this document!

Mike Downes15 Jun 2012 (edited)Edit

+theo kuechel Nice find and spot on .. I'm looking at the background. I suspect banning the camera to school is an easy out for the local education authority, school would be within rights.. as child protection issues and taking expensive electronic items to school is usually reserved for last day of term parties etc.. As I said, still investigating right now ..

theo kuechel15 Jun 2012

Indeed Mike, there is a great debate amongst educators at moment on (BYOD/T) Bring your Own Device/Technology, whose advocates, (I am one), believe that the affordances of Mobile and Communications Technologies should be incorporated into pedagogical practice as powerful collaborative, learning and knowledge building tools, that can extend the curriculum and offer meaningful learning experiences.

As for the 'ban;' surely, Martha, if she wished could, freely and without hinderance from the local authority,  write her blog at home?

Mike Downes15 Jun 2012Edit

+theo kuechel Martha could even do the court style reporting, providing a sketch of the meal .. I saw twice yesterday in TV News where the sketch of the accused {person's face] was even pixeled out.

I went mainstream google a few years ago, was told by City Council educational consultant I could not use these tools [Gmail, Blogger, Google Docs] as the other 87 schools would have to do so also ..  this cam a few years after my class page was bigger than the whole school website and a seven year old emailed her homework to me [2004] .. mother was delighted .. I was moved, yet the year after I was banned to protect myself .. read that as the other 9 teachers in the school felt uncomfortable with my actions.. as it was a success they may have to do it also. So, I was shut down ..

Post 2 11:59am I'm watching the story, especially Google News and addition of the now recognised hashtag ..



Mike Downes

Jun 15, 2012 (edited)  -  

+1'd on www.standard.co.uk
  -  Public
Google News listing 320 articles on this story, sure that will explode as the day goes on: http://goo.gl/cD8Nq Here's on posted a few seconds ago ..#neverseconds

Edit: neverseconds : http://goo.gl/p5w0X (link above is for: Martha Payne)
Extraordinary 553-word council statement justifying censorship of 9-year-old's Neverseconds blog - now Jamie Oliver enters fray »
A council issued an extraordinary defence today after it closed down a school dinners blog created by a nine-year-old girl.

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Michael TuckerJun 15, 2012
Sounds like there are changes afoot for school lunches, especially now that +Jamie Oliver has become involved.

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit
+Michael Tucker It was 17 May 2012 that +Jamie Oliver sent Martha his signed book .. So if the local council thought they could get away with this, they seriously underestimate the power of free speech and the web ..  


Post 3 12:18pm Refers to the name and location of the school, especially as it has a Google Place Page ..


I believe this to be the #neverseconds  school that is now being named by many media outlets and blog .. http://goo.gl/CN4PQ .. Anyone can write a review, it's a Google Place  ..
Lochgilphead Primary School »
Lochgilphead Primary School hasn't shared anything on this page with you.


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Jonathan RelfJun 15, 2012
Did you see the father's comments on the last blog post saying the school had been helpful but this is the council being idiots? Worth finding their offices instead surely?

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit
+Jonathan Relf I agree, this post was part of a volley from me.. have cc'ed you in on the post with all the email addresses of the councillors ..

Jonathan RelfJun 15, 2012  -  Reply
+Mike Downes Thanks. That'll teach me to read my stream from bottom to top! :)



Post 4 12:41pm Shows non UK readers where and how unusual the location is ..

Mike Downes

Jun 15, 2012  -  Public

In this post +LIVE from the NEWS™ looks at the issue of Geography .. There is no bigger mistake made in analogue thinking in a digital world to believe that just because you are hidden on a Scottish Isle in a place with 3,000 population .. the World will not be watching .. it is. #neverseconds  .. Martha Payne .. 



Post 5 12:46pm An observation on how other bloggers are thinking and posting ..


In this post, we have another tool from the bloggers bag, naming and posting email addresses of local councillors and the acting head teacher of the school .. #neverseconds  .. remember Martha is just nine years old ..

As the blogger writes, I hope when young Martha grows up she becomes a councillor and lets Argyll and Bute council know just how she felt to be treated almost like a criminal. ..
#NeverSeconds Argyll and Bute Martha Payne censored | »
I have been following a blog avidly over the last few weeks that tells the story of a nine year old schoolgirl called Martha Payne. The blog is just an internet version of what every school child does...

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Mark RosserJun 15, 2012


I can only imagine the panic at Argyll and Bute council today as they try to firefight this.

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit

+Mark Rosser First up we have  the defence mechanism for the council to protect themselves, i.e. 1st paragraph of the 553 word council statement. What's similar is not accounting for their actions in the last few weeks, i.e. did they ban Martha: Yes. Did they put some awful meals on the table: Yes and did Martha give the school kitchen 10/10: Yes ..

Then we have people who wake up as people.. get to a place of work and become very odd mouth pieces. I have been in education, as a primary teacher, for 20 years. I've sat in head teacher's offices, listened to the chats given out to children as the words, We are only doing what's best for you leave the teacher's lips ..

My conclusion, this story is about any area of careful thought and the consequences. Look at phone hacking, no one cared.. then emotions flared when missing child's phone was hacked. My guess, if this story had been about someone 14 years old, media would not be all over it. Which is correct as Martha, at 9.. is too young to be given rubbish like this to deal with ..
Expand this comment »

Mark RosserJun 15, 2012  -  Reply


+Mike Downes  Agree. A spokesperson from Argyle & Bute is on R4 World at One. Bets on the line 'We are only doing what's best for you' being spoken

Mark RosserJun 15, 2012


the CEO from Argyle & Bute has just now instructed his officials to remove the ban. A win for social media

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit

+Mark Rosser If you want to solve a mystery, it's why old school people [many in the UK] have to make a decision, then defend it no matter what. Have that not heard of beta ?

All they need do is say, What were we thinking, we've clubbed together, Martha here's a donation .. Oh, and we've invited Jamie Oliver up to the school [and all the Media for a feast] .. That's it, real easy ..

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit

+Jonathan Relf cc Yep, here's the list ..

John BattyJun 15, 2012  -  Reply
Since the action from A & B council to a "problem" was "Shoot the messenger", they deserve all that comes their way.

John BattyJun 15, 2012  -  Reply
Turns out they even shot the wrong messenger. It should have been the sensationalist (and inaccurate) headline writers at the Daily Record in the firing line.

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit
Quick cross post here to: http://www.justgiving.com/neverseconds/eurl.axd/07655d1b6bead543a5bc0c90cb037546

where total just gone past £21,000 .. enough for three kitchens .. target was £7,000 ..

John BattyJun 15, 2012  -  Reply
Amazing. It was £14,000 only about an hour ago.


Post 6 1:18 pm focus turns to the Charity angle and rapid addition of funds. This post was edited by me many times as funds increased every few hours ..

Donate Now TOTAL Friday 1.18pm UK Time is: £16,789.50 .. #neverseconds ..

EDIT 1.25pm UK Time £17,156.30 .. 1.36pm £18,646.10 .. 1.53pm £20,633.30 .. 1.56pm £21,240.70 .. 5.15pm Friday £35,533.70
Sat 16 June 9.19am £56,887.42 ..

Martha's Story

I mentioned in my blog http://www.NeverSeconds.blogspot.co.uk that last year my friends and I set up Charity Children at school and we made felt soaps and candle...
Expand this post »
Veg from NeverSeconds »
Martha Payne is fundraising for Mary’s Meals
Shared from the Google+ #neverseconds stream



Post 7 1:39pm This post announced a turning point in the story and was shared 20 times at g+ ..


#neverseconds  Martha ban is Lifted .. the power of the web folks ..
School dinner blog ban overturned »
A girl who became an internet hit after blogging about her school dinners has a photograph ban overturned.

Clare Cosgrove's profile photoPaul Budden's profile photoSylwia Presley's profile photoKellya Clanzig's profile photo
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Lars FosdalJun 15, 2012
Woot!

Allen FirstenbergJun 15, 2012
You've been covering this closely, +Mike Downes. Thanks!

One question about the article. What is MSP? "Member Scottish Parliament"?  From one of my favorite paragraphs in the story:

Local MSP Mike Russell, Scotland's education secretary, had written to the council's chief executive in his capacity as local MSP, calling for the "daft" ban to be overturned.

Luis CarvalhoJun 15, 2012  -  Reply


Good!! The appropriately named daft ban has been lifted... Common sense wins. 

Lars FosdalJun 15, 2012
+3

MSP - Media Seeking Politician? ;)

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit

+Allen Firstenberg .. Correct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_of_the_Scottish_Parliament .. the English version is just MP ..

yes, as a previous teacher, this is what I've had for 15 years.. local council playing the Parent .. walking over the kids, all the time .. I was banned from using Google apps in schools ..

Jeffrey Hunt JrJun 15, 2012
Yay I was just bitching about this!

Bren RyanJun 15, 2012 (edited)


Common sense at last, I was reading this earlier and her blog, for a child of 9 she has a great blog and the district council and school should be proud of her.... Reading her blog you wouldn't think she was only 9 years old.

And to be honest they should be encouraging her, who knows where she will be in years to come... she could be a writer, author, journalist, even a chef.

Kendall SeaburyJun 15, 2012  -  Reply


I'm Glad the UK council saw that this was going to be a PR disaster and backed down before the internet went global thermonuclear war on them.

Adam SimmonsJun 15, 2012
Has anyone watched the PageView ticker at the bottom of her site??  Its amazing!!

Kendall SeaburyJun 15, 2012


+Adam Simmons Last I check it was at like 2.8 million!!!

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit

+Kendall Seabury For people here in the UK, England is one place and Scotland another .. I am not getting into debate .. just go watch a Mel Gibson movie ..

Peter BowyerJun 15, 2012


The JustGiving page is now at £25,800 - which is a really great outcome of all this.

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit
+Adam Simmons there are videos people have made on that ticker, seetopsy.com search for neverseconds, click videos 

Adam SimmonsJun 15, 2012 (edited)
+2

+Mike Downes amazing thanks.. F5 the JustGiving page every 10 seconds, watch the monies come in.  Got to bring a smile to your face!

http://www.justgiving.com/neverseconds

Sarah HillJun 15, 2012
+2

wow that was quick .....

Sylwia PresleyJun 15, 2012
It's all over now. That is if Google does not step in and take her account down due to her age:/ 



Posts 8, 2:19pm Another observation on an aspect, this time the press realase



Mike Downes

Jun 15, 2012  -  Public
Here's a post from +Adrian Short in response to #neverseconds  .. let the reflection on this story amass ..
How not to write a press release, Argyll and Bute Council style | Adrian Short »
That's quite an opener. Firstly, “wholly refutes”. As a professional press officer, words are your tools so it's worth knowing what they mean. “Refute” means to disprove something. It's tautologous to...

Lynda Bowyer's profile photo
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Allen FirstenbergJun 15, 2012
Great article by +Adrian Short, tho it keeps making me wonder about what I posted on my stream.

Could the council have done or said anything that wouldn't have sounded like bullying a nine year old?

I pondered the council doing nothing more than posting its own pictures of school lunches. Not linking to her blog at all even, just presenting its version of the facts. Would that have made things better or worse?
Expand this comment »

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit
+Allen Firstenberg the signs were on the wall as mainstream media had this issue on 25 May 2012 ..so council knew, or ignored the data [hits on Martha's website, other photos sent from China of school meals].. instead, someone went on local policy to get stuck in the 1940s and think they know best. To misjudge, or ignore the web is a huge mistake.

For me, it's a massive lesson in #thefutureofnews  as this story is without people getting killed, no bombs, no earthquakes, just a nine year old girl trying to get her tummy full.. I can almost hear her sigh ..

In my view, the First Minister for Scotland, Alex Salmond needs to get up there and congratulate Martha Payne .. and ensure every school in Scotland photographs their school meals .. 
Expand this comment »

Allen FirstenbergJun 15, 2012  -  Reply


I think the question that I'm trying to ponder in my post, that +Adrian Short skirts around, and that you don't address is: What should the council have done instead?

Clearly they took the stupid web-ignorant approach.
Clearly their timing was slow.

But at any point as the story gained traction (and remember, the blog has been going for months now), what could they have done?
Expand this comment »

Mike DownesJun 15, 2012Edit
+1

+Allen Firstenberg the answer is simple: Nothing at all. Whatever councils do is wrong, it's in any British Citizen's DNA to dislike the council .. Have you ever heard of the phrase Jobsworth ? It defines as,That's more than my job's worth to let you photograph school dinners .. 

Ronnie BincerJun 15, 2012
+1

+Mike Downes Just skimming but the comment above by +Allen Firstenberg had a funny issue: Short Skirts  ;-)


Post 9 An example of how everyone including a Googler from Seattle is raising funds ..


Mike Downes

Jun 15, 2012  -  Public
Let's share this till the sun goes down .. #neverseconds  .. What +Vanessa Howell said ..
Vanessa Howell originally shared this post:
City councilmen try to silence a nine year old girl. They quickly reverse course after public outcry.

In support of free speech I'll donate $1 to Martha's charity for every share of this post.

Martha's charity supports meals for school children, a link to donate can be found here:http://www.justgiving.com/neverseconds/eurl.axd/07655d1b6bead543a5bc0c90cb037546

(Thanks +Mike Downes for the link)
+Michelle Marie can you help get the word out?

#neverseconds

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-18454800

(donation up to a max of $1000)
School dinner blog ban overturned »
A girl who became an internet hit after blogging about her school dinners is allowed to continue taking photographs of her meals.



Post 10 Shows an example of how this news has been told in a photo from Twitter

Mike Downes

Jun 15, 2012  -  Public
from Twitter:@digitalblonde Karen Fewell
Martha's #neverseconds blog story on screen at Waterloo - lesson to be learnt re school catering and social media http://t.co/V2LHTvDS

Post 11 An New Post by Martha at her Blog ..


Mike Downes

Yesterday 12:18 AM (edited)  -  

Shared from +1
  -  Public
Here's the latest from Martha Payne of #neverseconds  raised £53,007.18 so far at Saturday 00:18am UK Time ..
NeverSeconds »
I think you know why I don't have a picture today but I will have on Monday! Thanks to everyone that has helped to get my blog back on track. I would have missed writing it a lot and I'm looking forwa...
Post 12 Update from overnight's Charity Total ..
Update.. Sat 16 June 9.19am £56,887.42 .. that's enough for eight kitchens ..Happy Saturday Martha ..
Mike Downes originally shared this post:
Donate Now TOTAL 1.18pm UK Time is: £16,789.50 .. #neverseconds ..

EDIT 1.25pm UK Time £17,156.30 .. 1.36pm £18,646.10 .. 1.53pm £20,633.30 .. 1.56pm £21,240.70 .. 5.15pm Friday £35,533.70
Sat 16 June 9.19am £56,887.42 ..

Martha's Story

I mentioned in my blog http://www.NeverSeconds.blogspot.co.uk that last year my friends and I set up Charity Children at school and we made felt soaps and candle holders...
Expand this post »
Veg from NeverSeconds »
Martha Payne is fundraising for Mary’s Meals
Shared from the Google+ #neverseconds stream

Chad LaFarge's profile photoGraeme Robertson's profile photo
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Lars FosdalYesterday 9:43 AM
Totally awesome!

Lars FosdalYesterday 9:44 AM
Correction: That is way beyond totally awesome.  It is truly inspiring.  It is almost as if we should give thanks to that council of idiots :)

Dan WolfeYesterday 10:23 AM
This is definitely a case of unintended consequences! Glad to see that the council have had second thoughts about the ban on photography.

Mike DownesYesterday 10:45 AMEdit
+1

+Lars Fosdal I agree, I'm the first one to accuse anyone of game playhowever admire the movie Wag the Dog in which DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman invent a war to save a political candidate ..



Post 13 Update from Sunday ..


Mike Downes

1:12 PM  -  Public
Total now at: £76,581.72 .. A-mazing ..
Mike Downes originally shared this post:
Donate Now TOTAL 1.18pm UK Time is: £16,789.50 .. #neverseconds ..

EDIT 1.25pm UK Time £17,156.30 .. 1.36pm £18,646.10 .. 1.53pm £20,633.30 .. 1.56pm £21,240.70 .. 5.15pm Friday £35,533.70
Sat 16 June 9.19am £56,887.42 ..

Martha's Story

I mentioned in my blog http://www.NeverSeconds.blogspot.co.uk that last year my friends and I set up Charity Children at school and we made felt soaps and candle holders...
Expand this post »
Veg from NeverSeconds »
Martha Payne is fundraising for Mary’s Meals
Shared from the Google+ #neverseconds stream

Andy Gray's profile photoLars Fosdal's profile photo

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Roelf Renkema1:20 PM
It is amazing indeed to see how a money meter can replace political consiousness. And nothing has changed even if we are fooled into thinking it has. We but an offlet and lean back.

Erik Jonker1:50 PM
+Roelf Renkema even if you are right from the macro perspective, for that individual child who gets a meal because of this, something changes ?

Mike Downes1:56 PMEdit
+1

+Erik Jonker +Roelf Renkema  In my view there is only one story here, what Martha, as a nine year old, thinks before sleeping at night and what she wants to do when she wakes ..  As right now, she may believe, the adults were brave enough to say they were wrong and have done their best to put it right.

Roelf Renkema2:00 PM
Sure now all we need to do is to get those kids in Texas I posted about a few weeks ago a meal while they have there summer break and are missing out on the only meal they get a day. Right.

I'm not trying to put a dump on the story of this kid, I do want that people recognise that this is just the tip of the ice berg and goes way beyond one school in England.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/life_columnists/claudia_zapata/article/No-holiday-for-child-hunger-1407266.php

Is just one example of many in what we consider the first world.
Expand this comment »

Mike Downes2:10 PMEdit
+Roelf Renkema I agree 100% .. When we launched +Plusketeers All for One Plus One for All it was just before the KONY video went viral. That kicked off all charities put under the microscope of use of funds. I would say it's impossible to know for sure where each cent goes to.

For me, there were factors in a tiny town of 3k people that put#neverseconds  on the world map [albeit just for a few days] .. if the council did not ban her, there was no story.

Let me look at the link you have sent.. cc +Sarah Hill  ..
Collapse this comment


Post 14 Another Update .. with call to action .. As at: Sunday 20:28 UK Time, Vanessa Howell has 79 shares from her post ..


Mike Downes

4:08 PM  -  Public
What Vanessa said .. SHARE the link in line two of Vanessa's post, NOT this post ..
Vanessa Howell originally shared this post:
I'll tally the shares on my post supporting free speech here (https://plus.google.com/109260668485643694651/posts/ZM34dY1i6Zm) and donate tomorrow morning. - Thanks all!

We're at 60 shares now, but if we hit 100 by Monday morning I'll donate $500 to Martha's charity. Last chance:

1. Go here: https://plus.google.com/109260668485643694651/posts/ZM34dY1i6Zm
2. Share post
3. I donate money

Ripples are cool - thanks to +Mike Downes +Linda Lawrey +Dan McDermott+Frank Garufi Jr. and +Ugo Cei for spreading the word!

#neverseconds  

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Daniel Ashford4:13 PM (edited)  -  Reply
+Mike Downes shared +Vanessa Howell 

Lyndon NA4:24 PM
Done.





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