Mary Matthias, the top attorney in the nonpartisan agency that provides legal and policy advice to the Wisconsin Legislature, this week retired from nearly three decades of state service and became a reporter for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
Wisconsin is part of a growing nationwide movement to adopt trauma-informed care, an approach that helps people identify and overcome negative childhood experiences. The approach is being used to improve mental health, provide social services and address a wide range of criminal justice problems.
Studies show that adults with high ACE (adverse childhood experience) scores are more likely to suffer from poor mental and physical health, unemployment and substance abuse problems. Find out your ACE score with this questionnaire.
Two years ago, the Fond du Lac School District unveiled new guidelines requiring administrative review and approval before the publication of any student media. The reaction by students was swift, democratic and effective. Within days, they had publicized the change online, presented their case at a school board meeting, appeared on local media, and gathered several thousand signatures on a petition calling for student publications to be returned to the students. Over the next several months, they highlighted the district’s use of these guidelines to block the publication of particular photos and information. These efforts succeeded.
Failing septic systems, leaking public sewer pipes and landspreading of septic waste can introduce dangerous pathogens into both rural and urban water systems. Experts say Wisconsin needs tougher laws to protect Wisconsin drinking water from contamination by sewage and septic waste.
Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents are at risk of illness from waterborne pathogens in private and public drinking water supplies. Contamination by pathogens is of special concern because unlike pollution by metals or chemicals, pathogens can sicken people after just a single exposure.