'No-Cussing' Club Attracts Followers -- and Thousands of Hate Messages

15-year-old takes stand against foul language, gets death threats.

ByABC News
January 16, 2009, 4:08 PM

January 16, 2009 — -- McKay Hatch was on a mission. Bothered, he says, by the foul language he heard around school, he formed what he called the No Cussing Club (http://www.nocussing.com), and soon had thousands of followers from around the world.

But then, on the Sunday after New Year's, his father checked the group's e-mail after church and found 7,500 unread messages -- some of them threatening, almost all of them filled with obscenities.

McKay, a 15-year-old high school student from South Pasadena, Calif., has found himself the victim of a massive online attack, with people sending offensive e-mails and trying to crash the group's Web site. Strangers ordered pizzas sent anonymously to the family home in the middle of the night. The Hatches found their mail box clogged with porn magazines.

All, says McKay, because he was trying to make the world a better place.

"A lot of kids at my school, and some of my friends, would cuss and use dirty language all the time," he says. "They did it so much, they didn't even realize they were doing it. It bothered me so much that one day I challenged them to stop."

The No Cussing Club grew from a school project to a national phenomenon. McKay appeared on dozens of news programs, was cited by Dr. Phil, and went to other schools to give inspirational talks.

But then came messages such as this:

"i am going to find you And mutilate you with a scalple" [sic]

Or this:

"Every time I see your stupid [expletive] braces on those stupid [expletive] teeth of yours on that stupid [expletive] face of yours I just want to kill you with my bear fists." [sic]

Another message said, "Now, please, pack up your [expletive], and leave. You all are nothing more than [expletive], and should be treated nothing more than such."

McKay says he can imagine he touched a raw nerve.

"A lot of people were saying I was taking away their freedom of speech," he told ABC News by phone when he came home from school for lunch. "All I was trying to do was raise awareness."

McKay's father, Brent Hatch, says his son has been brave -- but in one day he received 35,000 pieces of spam.