The Bachelor's Caelynn Miller-Keyes' Disclosure of Sexual Assault

Plainfield HS Should Take A Cue From 'The Bachelor' Contestant Who Shared Her Story About Sexual Assault

Solidarity, resources, the breaking of stigma, and prevention are crucial.


This past Monday night on "The Bachelor," this year's Miss USA runner-up from Charlotte, NC, Caelynn Miller-Keyes, opened up to Colton, the bachelor, about her experience with sexual assault in college. Also this past Monday, a Buzzfeed reporter wrote about how Plainfield High School's administration decided that sexual assault shouldn't be discussed in any form in the school's newspaper.

I admire Caelynn's bravery, and I'm disappointed in Plainfield High's administration, who still live in a world in which sexual assault and justice are pushed under the rug.

I find the juxtaposition of these two situations very interesting, especially as I'm currently in a class about media law and we're discussing the First Amendment and how it applies to schools. Plainfield High is not the first school to try to censor the school newspaper — the Hazelwood School District did as well in a 1988 Supreme Court case, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier.

In a nutshell, students, in that case, wanted to report in their school newspaper on teen pregnancy and birth control, as well as the effects of divorce on students. The school argued that these articles invaded privacy and shared material that would be inappropriate for younger students. When the student editors sued, the case first went to the trial court, which rejected the students' claim. However, when the case was then sent to the Court of Appeals, they reversed, siding with students. When the case was sent to finally be determined by the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court reversed again, siding with the school and their authority to censor their newspaper. This case and the holding, or the final decision, set the precedent that will be referenced in future similar cases.

Admittedly, I don't know as much about "The Bachelor." I haven't watched more than a few minutes of it before, so I can't accurately discuss the season or show as a whole. However, after talking to some friends and engaging in a little research on my own, I know these things: I'm proud of Caelynn for speaking up about her experience and something she finds important in a world that will condemn her for it. I appreciate how she's also using her story to create solidarity and support others, even though I believe it's also okay if a survivor decides to focus on their own story and healing.

When it comes to Plainfield High, I know these things: sexual assault is a complicated issue, especially when your own students are involved. However, when the student reporters compromised their want to report on the offending student by simply reporting on sexual assault prevention — something that is undoubtedly apolitical and incredibly important — the school denied that as well. They argued that these stories could cause fights, defamation, and even suicide.

While I'm certainly sensitive to these issues, I'd like to see the statistics first.

According to a student, the school is too concerned with its image to share the story about the offending student.

There's a small part of me that gets it from a public relations standpoint. However, I believe there's an ethical and moral issue here that overrides that: the safety and well-being of students. It trumps the school's reputation, and frankly, should be a large part of their mission and goal anyway. In addition, this discussion on violence prevention is important to have as early as possible and can be even more effective when it's had with peers. I see nothing about this conversation that should be censored.

"At the same time, when something is censored, you know it's censored because something about it is important," said Halle Newman, a student, and co-author of the school newspaper's article.

Julia Shannon-Grillo, another student and co-author of the article, added, "The law makes us confident that the public wants us to be covering more significant stories, not just be a student newspaper covering the sports games."

I agree with Shannon-Grillo and Halle Newman wholeheartedly. I also want to praise Miller-Keyes again for speaking up for her own well-being and for that of others who have had similar experiences or know someone who has and may not fully understand. I hope these individuals will help those who disagree see sexual assault and prevention in a new light, as these discussions are vital to the safety and well-being of all. Violence is a public health issue that we must address early and often.

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36 Rules Of Life From 'NCIS's' Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sometimes we all need a smack on the back of the head.

I have been watching "NCIS" since the show began back in 2003, and season 15 will be airing this September. It is one of the longest running series and for a good reason, even though a lot of your favorite characters die off in the show they somehow still keep it alive. Anyone who has watched an episode or more knows about the infamous Gibbs's rules. Here's the list that we can gather from the many episodes:

Rule 1: "Never let suspects stay together." - revealed in the Season 1 premiere episode, Yankee White (episode).

Rule 2: "Never screw over your partner." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode). McGee also stated this rule to Ned Dorneget in Need to Know (episode). McGee also mentioned to Abigail Borin in Ships in the Night (episode) that rule number one has been taken twice, showing that he knows that there are two number one rules.

Rule 3: "Always wear gloves at a crime scene." - revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 4: "Don't believe what you're told. Double check." - again revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 5: "Never be unreachable." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Deception (episode) although Gibbs has been known to be intentionally unreachable. The rule was shown in Rule Fifty-One (episode) in the background when Gibbs opens the box.

Rule 6: "The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person - if you must. There is no third best." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode)

Rule 7: "You don't waste good." - revealed in the Season 8 episode, Baltimore (episode).

Rule 8: "Never say you're sorry. It's a sign of weakness." - This rule has been mentioned throughout the series, but it wasn't given a specific number until Flesh and Blood (episode). The rule is also a direct reference to John Wayne's catch phrase in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" (John Ford, Director). Wayne said: "Never apologize, mister, it's a sign of weakness." to subordinates in a military situation. DiNozzo notes the connection in Hiatus Part 1 (episode). Mark Harmon's career has paralleled John Wayne's. They both were quarterback of their southern California college football team, both went into acting. (Harmon's father, Tom Harmon, was a Heisman Trophy-winner and actor & announcer as well.) Note: This is continuously told to Tony, Ziva and Tim through a smack to the back of their heads.

Rule 9: "Always be specific when you lie." - revealed in the Season 1 finale episode, Reveille (episode).

Rule 10: "Never take anything for granted." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Probie (episode) although Gibbs also quotes it as being "Never assume" during the Season 9 episode, Rekindled (episode).

Rule 11: "Never go anywhere without a knife." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, One Shot, One Kill (episode)although it's sometimes quoted as "Never leave home without a knife" or "Always carry a knife."

Rule 12: "Never get personally involved in a case." - revealed in the Season 7 episode, Obsession (episode) and again referenced by the new SECNAV Clayton Jarvis in the Season 9 premiere episode, Nature of the Beast (episode) as the number one rule in Washington politics.

Rule 13: "When the job is done, walk away." - revealed in the Season 6 episode, Semper Fidelis (episode).

Rule 14: "Never date a co-worker." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, Enigma (episode).

Rule 15: "Never, ever involve lawyers." - revealed in "Collateral Damage." Rule 51 is written on the back of the card containing Rule 13 in "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 16: "Bend the line, don't break it." - revealed in Anonymous was a Woman (episode).

Rule 17: "Always work as a team." - revealed in Leap of Faith (episode).

Rule 18: "If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it." - revealed in the Season 8 finale episode, Pyramid (episode).

Rule 19: "Never, ever interrupt Gibbs during an interrogation." - revealed in the Season 14 episode, Privileged Information (episode).

Rule 20: "It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission." - revealed in Silver War (episode).

Rule 21: "Always look under." - revealed in The Artful Dodger (episode)

Rule 22: "Never ever bother Gibbs in interrogation." - revealed in Smoked (episode).

Rule 23: "Never mess with a Marine's coffee... if you want to live."- revealed during "Forced Entry."

Rule 24: "There are two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you." - Jack Knife (episode) and "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 25: "When you need help, ask." - revealed during Blood Brothers (episode).

Rule 26: "Always watch the watchers." - revealed in "Baltimore."

Rule 27: "If you feel like you are being played, you probably are." - revealed in Nature of the Beast (episode).

Rule 28: "Your case, your lead." - revealed in Bounce (episode) placing Tony as temporarily in charge of the team, and also in Phoenix (episode) with Ducky as leader.

Rule 29: "There is no such thing as coincidence." - revealed in Obsession (episode) although DiNozzo states that Rule 39A is "There is no such thing as a small world" during Canary (episode).

Rule 30: "If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are." - revealed in Borderland (episode).

Rule 31: "Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you." - revealed in Psych Out (episode).

Rule 32: "First things first, hide the women and children." - This rule number was mentioned in Patriot Down (episode) but was not stated until Rule Fifty-One (episode).

Rule 33: "Clean up the mess that you make." - revealed in "Rule Fifty-One" although it's also stated as "Never leave behind loose ends" in Hiatus Part 2 (episode).

Rule 34: "Sometimes you're wrong." - Created by Gibbs in Rule Fifty-One" by writing it on the back of the card containing Rule 13. It is unknown if his coworkers are aware of this rule.

Rule 35: "Always give people space when they get off an elevator." - revealed in Double Back (episode)

Rule 36: "Never trust a woman who doesn't trust her man." - revealed in Devil's Triangle (episode).

While some seem to deal with Gibbs only there are some very great life lessons present. If you haven's started watching "NCIS" I suggest you start soon, it is all on Netflix.

"A slap to the face is an insult - a slap to the back of the head is a wake-up call." Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Cover Image Credit: CBS TV / Twitter

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'Grey's Anatomy' Portrayed Rape And Sexual Assault In The Most Moving, Honest Way Possible

This episode is the voice of every victim and I pray it gets attention.


Season 15, episode 19 of "Grey's Anatomy." I have been a fan of this show from episode one, but never have I had so much respect for a TV show, its cast and its writers in my life. This episode portrayed three different stories about sexual assault, rape, and consent.

For anyone who knows the show, you know that Jo Wilson was an orphan. She finds her mother and discovers that her mother gave her up because that pregnancy was the result of rape. When Wilson returns home, she is faced with a patient who comes into the hospital and has just been raped. At the same time, Miranda Bailey and Ben Warren discover that their son, Tuck, has a girlfriend and need to talk to him about consent.

I have seen portrayals of subjects like this before. "13 Reasons Why," "Gossip Girl," even "Riverdale." I don't believe any show has ever done it justice besides this one.

This episode of "Grey's Anatomy" shows exactly what a woman goes through in the 24 hours after being raped, if she decides to seek help. It shows the struggle of coming to the hospital, covering up what really happened, the extent of going through a rape kit. The guilt, judgment, and trauma a woman feels. One of the ending scenes shows the woman being transported to the operating room with the hallways of the hospital lined with only women to support her.

That struck me deeper than any scene of any show or movie I have ever watched.

I have never been a victim of sexual assault or rape, and for that, I am grateful and extremely lucky. But I know what it is like to face the fear of the "what ifs." When I get out of work late at night, I hold my keys between my fingers in case someone decides to attack me. I constantly look over my shoulder no matter where I am, scouting out my surroundings to ensure that I am not caught off guard. I avert my eyes from men who stare a little too long, in fear that they will take a smile the wrong way and think I want their attention.

I am lucky. Every boy I have ever let into my life has been a gentleman. I've never been physically abused. I've never been forced into doing things sexually that I didn't want to do. Not every woman is as lucky as me and statistically, I might not be as lucky in the future. Being a woman means constantly having your guard up against the men who don't take "no" for an answer, the ones who think they have a right to violate your body.

I hope this episode touches the hearts of others like it did mine.

Working in a hospital, I have seen the trauma that these situations cause. I will always be the girl who looks out for other women when I'm at a bar or club, just to make sure they are alright. I will continue to watch my back because unfortunately, that is the way the world has to be today. Our society needs to feel the raw emotions that go along with rape and sexual assault and "Grey's Anatomy" hit it right on the head.

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