The school she went to was in a lovely new building that overlooked a sea loch near an old village.
The wee girl was very interested in writing. One day her teacher asked everyone in her class to do a writing project. She asked her mum and dad for ideas and decided to write a ‘blog’ about her school dinners.
With some help from her dad she started the blog, thinking that her family and maybe the children she went to school with might be interested in it. Because it was about food she also asked anyone who read it to give some money to a charity that provided school dinners for children in poor countries.
It was a clever idea. She took a photo of her school dinner each day, gave it a score on something she invented called a Food-o-meter and said what she thought about the food.
Of course, she didn’t like some of what she had to eat, even though she could choose from different things. But children are like that everywhere. And sometimes she said things like ‘Lunch was really nice today’ and ‘The fajita was lovely.’
Then some funny things started to happen.
Children from other countries began to send her photos of their own school dinners. She put them on her blog and said what she thought about the photos.
More and more people started to look at what she wrote and eventually she was asked with her dad to visit a famous chef who was talking about school dinners.
The next day something terrible happened.
A newspaper from a big city wrote about her visit to the famous chef. They had a headline that said ‘Time to fire the dinner ladies,’ something the wee girl and her dad had never said and was a very lazy and stupid thing to write.
Her school had been happy when she started the blog but now of course the poor dinner ladies were upset and afraid for their jobs.
The council, who ran the school she went to, wasn’t as clever as it could have been and said she couldn’t take photos of her dinners any more. She was called out of a lesson to be told this, which wasn’t perhaps the most sensible thing to do, because children don’t like that and it might have been a good idea to tell her dad first.
Well, you wouldn’t believe the fuss it all caused.
The TV, radio and other newspapers all found out what was going on. Suddenly what had happened was news throughout the world. Millions of people looked at her blog and thousands tweeted about it. People started to say that the ban on her taking photos was silly.
Within a day the council had to change its mind and said she could still take photos. Unfortunately, by then people had started to write all sorts of unkind things about them. Some puppets from Glasgow even sung a song about the council!
An important man from the council called the ‘leader’ said he would meet the wee girl and her dad and ‘seek her continued engagement,’ which was a strange thing to say to a wee girl.
Children, fairy tales are funny things. They teach you lessons, if you think about them, but they don’t always have happy endings. This fairy tale hasn’t ended yet. What do you think its lessons will be? Do you think it will have a happy ending for anyone and if so, who?
Also worth reading – Adrian Short’s more technical analysis of the council’s original press release on this subject (now disappeared from their web site)