Amy Myers is an honor-roll student who dreams of becoming an equine veterinarian someday. She also got bit by the political bug - like her conservative grandfather - and the 16-year-old sophomore is running for class president at Cherry Hill East High School.
Her aunt said she's "as sweet as pie."
But ever since Myers decided to write a letter to tea-party queen Michele Bachmann last month, challenging the GOP congresswoman from Minnesota to debate over the U.S. Constitution, her father says she's been getting stung by the party's most poisonous fangs.
"People are calling her a [word for a female anatomy part], a left-wing commie, a slut and a whore. They say they hope she gets gang-raped," said Myers' father, Wayne Myers. "And those are some of the nicer things they've been saying."
Amy Myers was unavailable last night, but her father said the vitriol has only fueled her passion.
"She's actually taking this as an active challenge," her father said. "She's as determined as ever."
Most of the vitriol has come via comments on online news articles, Wayne Myers said, particularly those posted on conservative-leaning websites. Many comments have been positive, he said, but the worst have threatened to publish the family's home address.
"She's a 16-year-old girl. She's not 18 or 21," he said. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. I'm in a heightened state."
Cherry Hill police say no one from the Myers household has called them to report any threats, however.
During Amy Myers' bid for class president, classmates often heckled her by comparing her to Bachmann, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, or former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. It wasn't because of her platform, her father said; they simply weren't aware of other female political figures beyond the trio of tea-party icons.
Since Bachmann was the only one actually in office and often fumbled over, or completely flubbed, the tenets of the Constitution, Myers sought a challenge and wrote Bachmann on April 29.
"I have found quite a few of your statements regarding the Constitution of the United States, the quality of public-school education and general U.S. civics matters to be factually incorrect, inaccurately applied or grossly distorted," the teen wrote.
Although Bachmann's office has not responded, Wayne Myers says the debate offer still stands. He said the family's been a mix of mostly conservatives and independents, with his own father, David Myers, once running for mayor in Cherry Hill. Amy has taken her own road though, he said.
"She civic-minded," he said. "She's an independent thinker, just like most 16-year-olds."