[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/08/art2.mckay.hatch.computer.jpg
caption=”McKay Hatch, 16, encourages children and adults to avoid using profanity.”]
&*$%! Yup, it’s pretty common to hear four-letter words in school hallways. Some kids want to be cool by cussing like their friends. Some hear it from their parents. But, McKay Hatch didn’t want to hear it or say it.
When McKay was in 8th grade, he asked his friends not to cuss around him. Then he started the No Cussing Club. It started with 35 members, then it grew to more than 20,000 members — kids and adults, from 50 states and 30 countries. The reaction has been mixed. His site has been hacked, his family has received bomb and death threats. Prostitutes have even shown up to his house! But, his mission of civility keeps him going.
“It shows how much impact words have. Someone sent me an e-mail and said, ‘Your words become your action, action becomes your behavior, your behavior becomes your character, character becomes destiny.’ I hope that this brings greater understanding among people to show that words have meaning and can affect where you go in life,” McKay, 16, says. Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared the first week in March as No Cussing Week.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview