LOS ANGELES (AP) - Pay no attention to that eerie silence in the
nation's most populous county this week; it will simply be the
sound of 10 million people not cussing.
At least that's the result McKay Hatch is hoping for once his
campaign to clear the air is recognized by the Los Angeles County
Board of Supervisors.
On Tuesday, the board is scheduled to issue a proclamation by
Supervisor Michael Antonovich making the first week in March No
That would mean no blue language from the Mojave desert, where
it gets hot as $&*# in the summer, to the Pacific Ocean, where on a
winter's day it can get colder and nastier than *%$#!
Not that 15-year-old Hatch expects complete compliance. When his
No Cussing Club meets at South Pasadena High School on Wednesdays
it's not unusual for a nonmember to throw open the door and fire
off a torrent of four-letter words. He's also been the target of
organized harassment by pro-cussers.
And Antonovich's county motion carries no penalties.
"But it's a good reminder for all of us, not just young people
but everybody, to be respectful to one another and watch the words
we use," said the supervisor's spokesman, Tony Bell.
The county isn't the first entity to try to put the lid on
swearing. Hatch's hometown of South Pasadena declared itself a
cuss-free zone for a week last March, and two years ago a high
school in Canada threatened to suspend repeat cussers.
Hatch has lofty goals.
"Next year I want to try to get California to have a cuss-free
week. And then, who knows, maybe worldwide," said the 10th grader,
who believes if people treat each other with more civility they can
better work together to solve bigger problems.
He said his campaign began to form about the time he hit seventh
grade when he noticed his friends beginning to swear, something his
family didn't allow.
He formed the No Cussing Club and invited others to join. Soon
the group had a Web site, bright orange T-shirts, a hip hop theme
song and inquiries from all over from people interested in joining.
He estimates 20,000 people have formed similar clubs.
"It's not about forcing anyone to stop, just to bring
awareness," he says of the movement. "If you can do a week
without cussing, maybe you can do two weeks. And then maybe a
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