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Death threats, prostitutes don't deter no-cussing agenda

  • Story Highlights
  • McKay Hatch, 16, started a No Cussing Club to encourage civility
  • Club has grown on the Internet with members in 30 countries
  • Teen says he received death threats for starting club
  • His efforts led to an official No Cussing Week in Los Angeles County
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(CNN) -- In middle school, a lot of kids think it's cool to cuss and toss around four-letter words like a soccer ball at recess.

Hatch is interviewed shortly after Los Angeles County declared the first week of March No Cussing Week.

McKay Hatch, 16, launched an initiative to curb the use of profanity.

But when McKay Hatch was in eighth grade, he called foul on the cussing he heard. Hatch started the No Cussing Club.

It began at his school and then, through his Web site, attracted members of all ages from all 50 states and 30 countries.

His efforts even got the attention of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which declared the first week of March "No Cussing Week."

CNN's Nicole Lapin spoke to the 16-year-old about the recent success of his movement and the trials he overcame to start it.

The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

McKay Hatch: Actually, when I first went to my parents about the idea, my dad was kind of like, 'No, no, don't do this.' He knew I'd get bullied and teased, which I did, and more. I got a lot of death threats from people, but I realized that through this whole thing that these people were bullies and I wasn't going to let them win. Video Watch the entire interview with McKay Hatch »

Nicole Lapin: Well, you received not only death threats we should say, McKay. Your site was hacked into, prostitutes were sent to your house. Were you ever scared by any of those threats?

Hatch: At first I was actually pretty scared because they said, 'I know where you live.' Our address was posted online on a really big Web site and at first I was scared. But like I said, these are bullies and they wanted me to be scared and I wasn't going to let them win.

Lapin: Even with the bullies, even with the threats, is this now in 30 different countries with thousands of members? Is it worth it?

Hatch: It's definitely worth it. Now we have members in all 50 states and 30 countries. People are signing up with our Web site and they're taking the pledge to use language to uplift and make people feel good about themselves. That's what this whole club is.


Lapin: It's not really about just cussing. It's also about civility.

Hatch: Yeah, it's about talking to people with civility like you said, and making people feel good about themselves and talking to people with respect. That all starts with your words and how you choose to use them.

All About Social IssuesInternetLos Angeles County Board of Supervisors

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