Proclamation of Support for 'No Cussing Club'

Teenager started "no cussing club," has been flooded with hate mail ever since.

February 26, 2009, 3:12 PM

Feb. 27, 2009 — -- Brent Hatch says his son McKay has received 60,000 pieces of hate mail in the past six weeks. People anonymously ordered more than $2,000 worth of pizza delivered to his house, trying to stick the family with the bills. A prostitute came one night, a little perplexed about why she had been sent to a quiet family home in South Pasadena, Calif.

It was all because McKay Hatch, a 15-year-old student who believed his schoolmates were using four-letter words without thinking about them, started, a challenge to teenagers to think about how they sounded.

"It's amazing that people want to waste their time attacking a high school club," Brent Hatch said.

The Hatches say they have been bombarded with abusive e-mails and voice messages, enough of them that they have stopped answering their phone or letting McKay check his own inbox.

"I will actually kill you. I seriously hate you and I know where you live, I looked you up in the phone book," read one message forwarded by Brent Hatch. "I am totally f------ serious you f--- f--- piece of s---. You don't inspire me, you make me want to cuss even more."

"Just wanted to say thanks, and that im gonna f------ murder you, and your entire family," read another.

There have been no arrests but police told the family that they are closing in on the instigators of the abuse campaign.

Now, Michael D. Antonovich, a member of the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County -- by far the nation's most populous, with 10.2 million people -- is planning a proclamation in McKay's honor. It will declare a "no-cussing week" March 2-6, challenging people to clean up their language just as McKay did.

"Through the No Cussing Challenge, we see the power of positive peer pressure among all people and how saying 'No' to cussing is a motivating factor," says the proclamation.

"[McKay] continues to spread the No Cussing Challenge and encourage the use of clean language, which is a sign of civility and respect that will uplift, encourage, and motivate."

That is welcome news to the Hatch family. But the irony is that the abuse began after a similar proclamation was made by the much smaller government of South Pasadena.

"We are aware that people might get mad, but there is much more support all across the country," Brent Hatch said in an e-mail.

"People are saying, 'Finally, there is someone standing up for what he believes in,'" he said. "To get a proclamation is a great boost of support from the county of L.A."

No-Cussing Club On the National Stage

When did a story in January, Brent Hatch says there was a flood of encouraging words e-mailed through the Web site to McKay. But threats and insults continue.

McKay says he thinks people mistakenly took his clean-language message as a threat to their rights. "A lot of people were saying I was taking away their freedom of speech," he said. "I just want people to think before they speak."

McKay has gotten national attention. He has been featured by Dr. Phil, and was a guest on the "Tonight Show With Jay Leno." He suggested, in banter with Leno, that one might use the word "pickles" instead of an epithet.

Anonymously sent jars of pickles soon came in the mail.

At times, the family says threats have been scary enough that they've moved in with relatives. But Brent Hatch says McKay is holding up well.

"The support from the county will be great," he said. "This is not about McKay, this is about everybody."

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