!!! Overmark is Banned (Again) !!!

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On Friday 17th September, at approximately 3:45PM Overmark was banned in a meeting between our contact, and Mr Moore. The decision was to be final. Please note that this DOES NOT mean that you are banned from looking at our website, or talking about us, or supporting us, or working for us. It simply means that we cannot distribute or publicise Overmark within RMGS. Long Live Freedom....
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If, theoretically, someone wanted to print this page our on their home computer, and display it in a public area, such as, oh, a school notice board or common room, that would theoretically not be illegal under school rules. If people wanted to e-mail this information to others then the school should have no problem with that either. If any such person wanted to do any such thing, they may even wish to use the page heading image we have provided below - In fact it would appear that the entirety of the text fits quite nicely onto two pages in a Word Processor.. Of course if we were to display such notices we would get into serious trouble... you would not! Now is the time to thank us for entertaining you for the last ten months!!!!

A handy image, theoretically it could be used to help publicise our cause

On Friday 17th September, at approximately 3:45PM Overmark was banned in a meeting between our contact, and Mr Moore. The decision was to be final.

The first thing we did was release the following statement on our website:

Sshhh! Read this quietly! We're supposed to be banned!

We?re just as shocked as you are. Our contact went into a meeting we thought was going to be the school approving our fundraising ideas for charity week ? instead they came out with the news that we had been banned from that moment on ? indefinitely.

It would seem that the members of the Core Team decided to take a look at our website, and were so displeased with what they saw, that they banned us. This came totally out-of-the-blue and caught us somewhat off-guard. According to Mr Moore (who our contact deals with as the school?s ?representative?), several parts of the website would have never been allowed had we tried to print them. Of course, we?ve known all along that the content of the website was much more libellous and controversial, but given that we gave the school censorship rights to the paper we had simply thought nothing of it.

Now, the school demanded that unless we revealed ourselves - that is to say no longer remain an anonymous paper ? we will remain banned, unconditionally and indefinitely. According to the school (the school?s opinion being voiced through Mr Moore) Overmark needs to both give and receive trust. Currently it would seem that the school is trusting us (by censoring our paper?) and we are not trusting them in return.

It has to be said that our response to the issue of trust, is that yes, the school is trusting us to an extent. After all they did let us continue after they last tried to ban us in January. However, we feel that we simply don?t have anything we can trust them back with! If we reveal who we are; we would not only be trusting the school management, but the entire school body. We would be trusting everyone to treat us exactly the same ? and a basic class in psychology will tell you that that?s just not possible. We have stated on so many occasions we lose count our reasons for remaining anonymous.

The one thing that shocks no appals us the most about this whole affair is that the school banned us from raising money for charity week. We had two, not exactly outrageous ideas for charity week. Anyway, we are utterly appalled that the school was actually turning down our offer to raise hopefully hundreds of pounds for charity. The reason for this, according to Mr Moore, is that charity is a communal event where the whole school pulls together for a good cause. He continued to say that since Overmark is an anonymous organisation we are claiming to be outside (or literally over) the school community ? and therefore we cannot take part.

So, what are we going to do now? Well, we were told that producing copies of Overmark is now banned ? and so we won?t produce anymore issues for the time being. Instead we will remain totally web-based. The school is probably also expecting us to shut down the internet site ? however that will not be happening. On this topic we can take the moral highground. While legally speaking the school can ask us to stop distributing within a private environment which they control (i.e. school) they cannot control the public domain (i.e. the internet). In fact, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

?Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas though media and regardless of frontiers.?

(Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

And in the same way the school cannot punish or act in a prejudice manner to our contact (who currently absorbs all blame for Overmark) because the freedom of speech through the public domain is a Human Right.

In the long term the web is not where we hope to remain, and for this we need your help and support. We have provided a petition which we want as many people as possible to sign. We have also provided a default letter of complaint, which we would like as many people as possible to send to the school?s e-mail address. We hope that if we can get enough support from the pupils and teachers the school might grudgingly allow us to continue on paper.

While we deal with this crisis we would like to apologise for an intermittent service over the next month of so. We did have a September issue ready for publishing, and aim to place that on the web soon. As well as all this we are currently developing this new website. We appreciate any feedback on this site, and apologise for the fact that it is currently running rather slowly. We aim to resume 'normal' service asap.

Long live the truth.

--Overmark Team