At the age of fourteen, McKay Hatch was fed up with his classmate’s potty mouths. They were, he says, cussing like sailors on a regular basis and most weren’t even aware they were doing it. He issued a challenge to his trash-talking peers and, to his surprise, they accepted.
This was the beginning of the No Cussing Club at South Pasadena High School in California. The idea caught on and today the club boasts of thousands of members around the world, all who have taken the No Cussing Challenge.
Hatch’s commitment to clean language has brought him lots of attention — not all of it positive. Despite being lauded on national talk shows and in print, he’s become the target of angry pro-cussers who feel he is a goody-goody attempting to infringe upon their freedom of speech. He has received profanity-laced hate mail and even death threats.
Hatch may be, as his Website claims, the “most cyberbullied kid the world,” but last week his no cussing agenda won the support of the California lawmakers. On Thursday, the house voted to approve a resolution declaring the first week of March to be “Cuss Free Week” in that state. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure today.
Of course, the resolution has no legal ramifications. It is, as Assemblyman Anthony Portantino puts it, merely a reminder to encourage people to “act like you’re at your grandma’s house.”
Of course, Portantino’s comment assumes that your grandma isn’t the person who taught you those words in the first place. I am constantly amazed — and dismayed — by the number of adults who think nothing of dropping F-bombs and other ugly words in front of their children. I am all for free speech but I am also a big believer in the idea that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
What about you? Do you watch your language in front of your kids? Or do you believe, like so many others seem to, that there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ word.
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