Calif. lawmakers: Cut the foul language, please

Feb 25 2010 - 4:57pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Californians had better start watching their mouths.

The state Assembly passed a resolution Thursday that would establish the first week of March as "Cuss Free Week" throughout the state. If approved by the Senate next week, the measure would take effect immediately.

The resolution includes no enforcement mechanism and is simply meant to promote greater harmony and connectedness, said Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from La Canada Flintridge and co-author of the measure.

"I've always wondered why we behave differently when grandma is watching than when we're on our own," said Portantino, who owned up to his share of four-letter words.

Portantino said the California Legislature -- known for imposing strict clean air and clean water laws -- is the first state legislative body in the nation to consider a statewide profanity-free week.

The resolution was inspired by a South Pasadena teenager, McKay Hatch, who started a No Cussing Club at his junior high school in 2007. Similar clubs have since cropped up in every state and 20 countries.

Hatch, who traveled to Sacramento with his family to support the resolution, said he sees a link between foul-mouthed incivility and other forms of problem behavior, such as drug use and bullying.

Next up for the 16-year-old? Promoting no-cussing measures in other states and internationally.

"Next year I want to do a world tour," he said. "Cussing is a hard habit to break, but anyone can do it."

 

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