+

Maeve Sanford-Kelly started the fight to include consent in sex ed classes when she was 12. That's right, 12.

In 2016, news stories of sexual assaulters like Brock Turner and Bill Cosby dominated the headlines, and the infamous recording of our current President bragging about grabbing women "by the pussy" was made public. The #MeToo movement had not yet gained full force, but its seeds had been planted.

Twelve-year-old Maeve Sanford-Kelly of Bethesda, Maryland witnessed it all, including the way sexual assault victims were treated. Disheartened, Sanford-Kelly decided to take action. She started locally, with the goal of making consent an early part of the Montgomery County sex ed curriculum.


Sanford-Kelly made her case before the Montgomery County Delegation with impressive poise.

Sanford-Kelly's mom, Ariana Kelly, a representative in the Maryland House of Delegates, helped her daughter navigate the civic process. Working with other young people, they drafted a bill to present to the Montgomery County Delegation. In December of 2016, Sanford-Kelly testified before local legislators to make the case for consent to be taught in seventh and tenth grade.

As part of her argument that consent education can't wait until high school, she said:

In seventh grade we're taught about abstinence, we're taught about HIV and AIDS prevention, and we're taught about STDs. We should learn about consent. As middle schoolers, we're constantly consuming media: the movies we see have sex scenes in them, the music we listen to has sexual themes, and you can see naked women anywhere. We hear stories, we read stories, about... Brock Turner and Bill Cosby... but there's not a disclaimer that says sexual assault is wrong. It doesn't say that sexual violence is bad or that rape is inexcusable. We have to be taught that. Before we are taught about pregnancy prevention and STDs, we have to be taught about consent.

Her testimony earned applause from the entire room.

Thinking bigger, the group took a similar bill to the state level. It died there, but their determination resurrected it.

Sanford-Kelly, her mom, and friends revised the local bill and took it to the Maryland House of Delegates. The bill died in the State Senate, however, due to lack of support from Republicans and conservative Democrats.

Sanford-Kelly was undeterred. "I was crushed," her mother told NBC Washington. "But Maeve said, 'We are coming back next year.'"  

And come back they did. Montgomery County and Baltimore City schools voluntarily implemented the bill in 2017. That's when the #MeToo movement really took hold, and the group received a rush of support for their state-level bill. It was approved by the House of Delegates and State Senate in early 2018, and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan in May.

Maryland is now just one of 10 states that include consent as part of their state-mandated sex ed curriculum.

Sanford-Kelly, now 14, and her friends accomplished an awesome feat in persuading Maryland to include consent in sex education. But there's still much to be done across the nation.

Only 10 states, plus Washington, D.C., require lessons on consent to be included in the sex education curriculum. Considering what a huge part of the public discourse it has become, that's kind of unbelievable.

Consent is the very basic idea that sexual activities need to be welcome by both parties in order to take place. Why anyone would object to that fundamental concept of respect and bodily autonomy being taught in schools is unclear. If kids are old enough to learn about sex, they're well beyond the age to learn about consent.

This young lady and her friends deserve thanks for paving the way for more states to make consent part of required curriculum, and for showing us the power of young people making their voices heard.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less