Series 2, Number 3 Thurs., Dec. 21, 1995

Copyright © 1995 AIP. Unauthorized print reproduction is encouraged.

Cyber Patrol Censors Internet

By BrianR (Brian Ristuccia)

Cyber Patrol, a software package installed on Library and Mac Lab computers at BMHS, was intended to block access to pornographic sites and other innapropriate material on the internet. When a user tries to access a blocked page or service, a message is displayed instead, such as “Access Restricted By Cyber Patrol” or “Cyber Patrol Intercept” In this way, Cyber Patrol prevents access to inappropriate information, and use of inappropriate services.

Unfortunately, Cyber Patrol has problems. Along with the “innapropriate” sites censored, so are valuable information resources, educational pages and sites, and even the home pages of other high schools on the World Wide Web. This limits the usability of Internet for some tasks.

On other occasions, Cyber Patrol has malfunctioned, blocking access to all sites, including the Netscape Home Page. When this happens, the internet is rendered unusable by students from that computer until the software is resinstalled.

Blocked on BMHS library computers are Full Nudity, and Text Descriptions of Sexual Acts. (see the sidebar at the right of this page) At one point, Cyber Patrol had blocked access to The Billerica Beating’s web page. When we notified them of the error, Microsystems Software, Inc. claimed to have corrected the problem.


By PMK1 (Feris Weele)

The definition of insubordination according to the 1995-96 Student Handbook reads as follows: “Insubordination is the direct refusal to fulfill any reasonable request made by any school department personnel (for example: picking up litter in the cafe).”

This is what the written definition of insubordination is. However, we students know what the real definition is. It’s a lousy excuse for personnel to write you up because they are sick of seeing your face, or it could be that they just don’t like you. Either way, it’s another way for teachers to stomp on our faces and treat us like scum wads.

Another problem with this definition is the mention of a “reasonable” request. “Reasonable” is as deemed by the personnel member who is writing you up for a big fat office detention. There have been occasions where teachers have pushed students to the point that they would be rude and obnoxious in order to have an excuse to write the student up. Often, on most write-ups for insubordination, the faculty member is cryptic and arbitrary in explaining the student’s misbehavior. This abuse of the Discipline Code is unjust, and allows faculty to abuse their power to discipline. Like a tyrant ruler over his commoners, teachers issue citations to the undesirables. Students are intelligent human beings, and deserve to be given the respect and dignity that they deserve as such.

Until this happens, we’re still stuck with the current situation. There are a few ways to get around and fight against write-ups for insubordination.

1. You don’t have to directly refuse a teacher’s request. This is especially true if you feel the request is unnecessary, unsafe, or that you are unable to complete it correctly, completely, or at all.

2. Think for yourself what is reasonable and unreasonable. For example, being kindly asked to throw out your own trash at lunch is reasonable. On the other hand, being rudely yelled at to pick up someone else’s trash is unreasonable.

3. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. A faculty member may think they have power over you in school, but outside school, you’re both human beings, on equal ground with one another. If you think the faculty member is wrong, tell them. Explain the event and the code of conduct. If they’re not willing to resolve the problem, speak with your assistant principal. Another powerful tool, mediation, should be kept in consideration.

In short, insubordination is used as a threat over our heads. The vast majority of students here are great people, and don’t need to be refused their entitled respect.

Cyber Patrol CyberNOT List Criteria

[Cited from]

Microsystems Software has used what we believe to be reasonable means to identify and categorize CyberNOTs, but cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of our screens and assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Please report errors and omissions using the Site Investigation Report.

Category Definitions -7/15/95

Any on-line content that contains more than 3 in 100 messages or any easily accessible pages which fall within the definition of the below categories will be considered sufficient to place the source in the category.

Violence/Profanity: Extreme cruelty, physical or emotional acts against any animal or person which are primarily intended to hurt or inflict pain. Obscene words, phrases, and profanity which uses George Karlin’s [sic] 7 censored words more often than 1 every 50 messages or pages.

Partial Nudity: Full or partial exposure of the human anatomy except when exposing genitalia.

Nudity: Any exposure of the human genitalia.

Sexual Acts/Text: Pictures or text exposing anyone or anything involved in explicit sexual acts and lewd and lascivious behavior. Material must be explicit or strongly imply a sexual act.

Gross Depictions: Pictures or descriptive text of anyone or anything which are crudely vulgar, deficient in civility or behavior, or showing scatological impropriety. Includes such depictions as maiming, bloody figures, indecent depiction of bodily functions.

Racism/Ethnic Impropriety: Prejudice or discrimination of any race or ethnic culture. Ethnic or racist jokes and slurs. Any text that elevates one race over another.

Satanic/Cult: Worship of the devil; affinity for evil, wickedness. Sects or groups that potentially coerce individuals to grow and keep membership.

Drugs/Drug Culture: Topics dealing with the use of illegal drugs for entertainment. This would exclude current illegal drugs used for medicinal purposes (e.g., drugs used to treat victims of AIDS.) Includes substances used for other than their primary purpose to alter the individual’s state of mind such a glue sniffing.

Militant/Extremist: Extremely aggressive and combative behaviors, radicalism, advocacy of extreme political measures. Topics include extreme political groups that advocate violence as a means to achieve their goal.

Gambling: Of or relating to lotteries, casinos, betting, numbers games, on-line sports or financial betting including non-monetary dares.

Questionable/Illegal: Material which parents/teachers might prefer to review with their children. Material which may be illegal in certain areas.

Alcohol, Beer & Wine: Material pertaining to the sale or consumption of alcoholic bevarages [sic]. Also includes sites and information relating to tobacco-products.


By Lisa Vaughan

For those of you who missed this year’s drama club presentation of Neil Simons hilarious comedy, Rumors, you missed a terrific show. [“..Just One Piece Short Of Legoland®” - “Are You Normal”, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin] [“The Nine Planets page is blocked by Cyber Patrol?!” ... “Oh! Uranus!”

The show is about four couples coming to the tenth wedding anniversary of Charlie and Myra Brock. When they arrive, Myra and their servants are missing. Charlie tries to say something but passes out cold. As more and more guests arrive, they all try to figure out what happened. It has to do with cousins and warts and hips, it’s all very... complicated.

The whole cast was incredibly talented, excellent performances by Sophomore Shonna McEachern (Chris); Juniors Michelle Farrell (Ken) and Joe Sgroi (Glen); and Seniors Bobby Antonelli (Lenny), Mike Farrell (Claire), Jaclyn Tonini (Cookie), Chris Marshall (Ernie), Cindy Robert (Cathy), Suzanne January (Officer Pudney), and Will Jennings (Officer Welsh).

The cast pulled together and improvised through minor technical difficulties on opening night. The audience never suspected a thing. They were laughing uncontrollably.

The set was expertly constructed under the direction of George Bibler, who guided the crew with wisdom and grace. It took them a while, and they had a few mishaps, but everyone left with all ten fingers intact.

The production was directed by Jeff Guage and co-directed by Jeff Bedrick.

[ / The Billerica Beating on the Internet! / 	Although Microsystems, Inc. claims that The Billerica Beating home page is not included in Cyber Patrol’s CyberNOT list, the page is still unaccessable on some computers at BMHS. Despite the blocking, The Billerica Beating’s home page has logged over 362 visitors since it was put online last month.]

A White-Hat Christmas

By k8 (k8)

Christmas is something that I cannot relate to. I believe in the spirit of giving but it’s hard to celebrate Christmas when one of the fundamental aspects, Christ, is something I don’t agree with. So how am I to write a cute Christmas story?

Very carefully.

Once upon a time, there was a boy with a perfectly curved hat brim who’s chore it was to shovel. One day, while shoveling, his hat fell off and it blew away in the wind. So thus it came to be that all he wanted for Christmas was a new hat with a perfectly curved brim. His mother, not understanding that the curving of a brim was an art form, a process of perfecting during numerous boring classes, went out to find this nonexistent perfectly curved brim hat. And so -- she bough him nothing instead.

Christmas morning came, and our nameless shoveling boy woke up and ran downstairs in his flannel patriots logo pajamas. He tore through all his presents looking, waiting for the present, the one that would become his new, beautiful hat, with the best, most symmetrical and perfectly curved brim.

And find it he never did, because his mom never bought him one. When all of the presents were open and no hat was found, our shoveler looked up scared, fearing the truth: That the hat, in fact, had not been bought. ...Not by his mother ...not by his distant relatives. ...or his close relatives. ...not even by his girlfriend, Suzy, the shoveling boy’s girl.

And so it was that he would have to buy one for himself. He feared this, for he had a job which payed only enough for his weekend party dues. ...And he couldn’t not party.

Weeks passed. His matted hair began to deflatten. He began to look like he had never had a perfectly-curved-brim hat. He began to look like one of those rare no hatters. His friends began to fear that he had passed through the change. ...That he had become a no hatter.

His girlfriend dumped him; the question of his character became too embarrassing for her. One week, his ride to the party never showed up. ..And so he had money to buy a hat. ..And so he walked miles to the special hat shop and bought The One.. The Hat.

He ran home and spent the whole night curving the brim, and stepping on it, and jumping on it, and doing other ritualistic things to make it perfect. And it became perfect, and he got his girlfriend back, and his friends came to pick him up, and he lived happily ever after.

...Sort of.

Mail Stash

From Tigger: (Tigger) [“The underground press serves as the only effective counter to a growing power, and more sophisticated techniques used by establishment mass media to falsify, misrepresent, misquote, rule out of consideration as a prioriridiculous, or simply ignore and blot out of existence data, books, and discoveries that they consider prejudicial to establishment interests...” - William S. Burroughs and Daniel Odier, “The Job,” Viking, New York, 1989.]

As I have read through all these Beatings, I have noticed that your articles quite frequently bash administration. I am not saying this is wrong, actually most, if not all, of the bashings I have read are justified. I would like to take a moment to recognize a faculty member who makes a positive difference. His name is Mr. Stavely.

Everyday I pass by his room at least 4 or 5 times and every time he greets me with his now famous “Happy Day!”. He gave a nice speech at that stupid award ceremony the other day. His one downfall is that he speaks bullsh*t that supposedly is our school philosophy.

This offering of mine may be a bit too kind for The Beating, but I guess I’ll offer it just the same. It’s time we started to recognize, not just criticize. With so many teachers running for the door to beat the 2 o’clock 3A traffic, it is nice to see one who is willing to give a little extra time. Nice job Stave, keep up the good work!

Breaking the Tradition

By PMK1 (Feris Weele) [Now you can view and print out copies of the current and back issues of The Billerica Beating. Never before has it been this easy to read, copy, and contribute to The Beating from the comfort of any  computer connected to the internet. Please protect your continued access to legitimate material on the internet by expressing your disapproval of Cyber Patrol and other internet censorship packages.]

You’re walking down the hall. You glance down at the floor and suddenly see a pair of black high tops and hairy legs surrounded by a flowing skirt. Does this girl need to shave or what? You look up. It isn’t a girl, it’s a guy! So what do you do? Do you laugh and make fun, pat him on the back and say “Cute skirt!”, or do you run?

A handful of mail individuals in school have been brave enough to wear feminine clothes, nut are they really being brave, or are they just doing what they want to do? Maybe some of both, but the fact is they shouldn’t have to be called brave. It’s caused a lot of fuss, mostly by ignoramuses with narrow minds, when it shouldn’t be a big deal.

There are people walking around calling them fags and making other rude comments. What’s the big deal with a guy wearing a skirt?! A long time ago, women started wearing pants, and here we are! It’s acceptable for girls to dress “masculine.” Are you narrow minded people out there afraid because it breaks the code of tradition? That’s all it is -- rebellion against tradition in the style of dress. It’s no different than wearing a hat backwards, or a sweatshirt inside out. Be a little more open minded! Skirts are just clothes, and we’re all naked under our clothes. It’s a person’s insight that clothes him or her.


[I Found this in my email. Weird.]

Dear Brian,

What do you mean missed the deadline?? I never miss deadlines! The truth is, I would have been on time, but at the last possible minute, 3267 man-eating Parrots came up from the sewers and grabbed me demanding to see my Coffee Mug. Then, they proceeded to eat my report, singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and having an animated discussion comparing Eisenhower to Doritos.

I managed to escape, but then I was running to catch a MBTA bus when I was kidnapped by midget terrorists from Indonesia who forced me to listen to Death Metal and eat Hamburger while dancing the Electric Slide. True, this was enjoyable, but I managed to escape again...

[ / The Billerica Beating on the Internet! / 	Although Microsystems, Inc. claims that The Billerica Beating home page is not included in Cyber Patrol’s CyberNOT list, the page is still unaccessable on some computers at BMHS. Despite the blocking, The Billerica Beating’s home page has logged over 362 visitors since it was put online last month.]
[“We believe that the information technology industry must act responsibly and ensure that children are able to access the wealth of information the Internet offers while minimizing the risk,

[This letter is the eighth of many letters sent to the fine people at Our past letters have been ignored with no reply. On Dec. 8, they finally replied with the message on the right.]

To Whomever It May Concern:

All of is blocked. This includes my friend Jay Wilson's personal home page and my Newspaper, The Billerica Beating's home page. Such blocking is inappropriate. These pages contain no pornographic material. On computers at Billerica Memorial High School in Billerica, Massachusetts, these pages are blocked on computers set up only to block full nudity and textual descriptions of sexual acts.

I can be contacted by electronic mail at Jay Wilson would also appreciate a reply in regard to his personal home page being blocked. Send mail to

Your prompt cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

Brian Ristuccia
Editor In Chief
The Billerica Beating

Sports Line Advertisement

Dear Brian,

We do not have blocked at the users directory. We do however have some individual home pages from blocked. I would need the home page address of Jay Wilson to check to see if his is one on the master list.

The administrator of your system may have blocked those sites from your end.

If I can be of further assistance please let me know.

Debra Greaves
Cyber Central
Microsystems Software

End of document.