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L.A. County shoots for a week without $#&*@!

McKay Hatch, 14, a 9th grader at South Pasadena High School, started a no cussing club at his school, back in October of 2007. South Pasadena has declared March 3 thru March 7, 2008, don't cuss week. Hatch was photographed at South Pasadena High School on March 5, 2008. Can Los Angeles County residents go a week without cussing?

At least one county supervisor thinks so. Supervisor Michael Antonovich is set to proclaim this week No Cussing Week on Tuesday, following the example of sandy-haired soccer player McKay Hatch, 14, who has become something of a media darling since he started his No Cussing Club at South Pasadena Middle School two years ago.

"A lot of kids at my school, and some of my friends, would cuss and use dirty language all the time. 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!" McKay wrote on his website.

"They were shocked. They didn't know that it was bothering me. They didn't even realize how much they were doing it until I said something. I was actually surprised at how they reacted; they accepted my No Cussing Challenge. But some of the kids said they didn't know how to stop. That's when I started the No Cussing Club."

Within a month, the club had 50 members and soon grew to include 30,000 members in every state and 30 countries, including Argentina, France and the United Kingdom, where swearing is often considered an art.

McKay has since appeared on "The Tonight Show," "Fox News," "Good Morning America" and "Dr. Phil."

Those who accept the challenge, which can vary from one week to a year, agree not to "cuss, swear, use bad language or tell dirty jokes. Clean language is a sign of intelligence and always demands respect. I will use my language to uplift, encourage and motivate. I will Leave People Better Than I Found Them!"

"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, one that has made it easier for some to say ‘No’ to drugs and violence," Antonovich wrote in his motion supporting No Cussing Week and commending McKay for "being a positive role model and encouraging the use of clean language."

But can all of Los Angeles County (and particularly those caught in rush-hour traffic) follow McKay’s lead? And what happens to those who slip when they, say, stub their toe?

No worries -- Antonovich has no interest in ticketing the foul-mouthed. "It’s not enforceable," said Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell. "It’s like Breast Cancer Awareness Week. We want to remind people about their choice of words. Use different language -- be kind; be civil."

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

McKay Hatch, 14, a 9th grader at South Pasadena High School, started a no cussing club at his school, back in October of 2007. South Pasadena has declared March 3 thru March 7, 2008, don't cuss week. Hatch was photographed at South Pasadena High School on March 5, 2008.

Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (10)

You're kidding me right? You can go online and read countless blogs where those who have done no research can spout anything they deem worthy of writing regardless of the degradation done to someone’s cause or character, and it would be a greater injustice to our society and it's integrity than any "cuss" word could ever be. How about proclaiming a no slander for a week? Something that would actually encourage people to be kinder instead of just limiting them by a few "offend-able" words?

13 year olds who want to get their opinion out is fine, but I'll be damned if my support would go to this wishy-washy backhanded attempt to stop a symptom of negative expression and not the true aliment.
If I want to call my bed post and son of a bitch cause I stubbed my toe on it, I will, and I doubt the bedpost will complain.

People, you need to learn to express your opinions with facts and truths, not omit 'naughty' words from your vocabulary.

You want these 'offensive' words to go away.. stop being offended.


I love how this #$% is likened to "Breast Cancer Awareness Week" - FYI, Antonovich, breast cancer has its own awareness MONTH.

Our city has real problems including: gangs, drugs, crime, poor health care, homelessness, high drop out rates, we could go on and on. Throw all that a side - our politicians are aiming to cut down on the use of sear words!? What does that possible hope to achieve? Does any one want the job of County Supervisor, Michael Antonovich you are fired.

Most people's response to this:

"#@!$ that!"

How is not cussing suppose to make us more intelligent or more civil? To quote one of the great cussers of our day, Lewis Black:

"We are adults. These are the words that we use to express frustration, rage, anger, in order that we don’t pick up a tire iron and beat the s*** out of somebody.”

Mr Antonovich, censorship is not part of your job description, please resign.

Wow! I don't know what to write about first...
Praise for the student who took a stand to make his world a better place and acted upon it in a positive manner
Disgust at those of you who are so self-righteous and blind to the small acts of good this might accomplish. Are you so caught up in yourselves that even this boys attempt to better his world makes you feel ashamed and guilty for your own behavior that you must slam him.

Give me a break - maybe it is people like you who feel that they can do and say anything they want even if it offends others, that this boy is trying to educate. Maybe if more of us thought how what we say or write might affect others this country might not have been brought to its knees.

Dear Madameshabbs:
Why don't you follow your own suggestion and refrain from slander and negativism. Give the kid a break, what idea have you had to better the world that you have actually acted on?
And if you have done something, how would you like to have small minded people belittle your work.

you say that if "You want these 'offensive' words to go away.. stop being offended", well I could say the same for the Mortgage mess... My Mortgage is OK and I should just ignore the problems others are having and they will just go away...
the problem is that if I did that I would be burying my head in the sand and would be wrong about it. just like you!

Asking the people of Los Angles county to put on a blanket on the use of all cuss words, for however long, is no different than asking us no to produce or sell books or movies that have cuss words in their content, I bet this kid has some advise for us about the use of nudity in artwork too. The constitution guarantees our freedom of speech and I'm not going to let some this young man or the county tread on that no matter how pure anyone thinks their motives are. Facism is facism weather it's lead by some kid down the block or someone halfway around the world wearing Nazzi uniform with a gun strapped to their side. Either way we are not interested your mantra. Further more the county has real issues to deal with. This is a shameful use of government time and taxpayer dollars. That goes for the kid too, there are REAL problems in your community son. If you are going to spend so much energy why don't you help the homeless, clean up the neighborhood, or see what can be done about teen drug use and high drop out rates? Three girls your same age in your own neighborhood got raped last week while they were skipping school, drinking alcohol and doing drugs and you are concerned about people cussing? Please.


My name is Kaitlin Schluter and I am the Arts and Culture Editor with The Clause Newspaper at Azusa Pacific University, the largest Christian University on the West Coast.

I would like to do a spin off this article for an Opinion article I am writing. Where may I contact the journalist who wrote this article?


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