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Academic bullying; Evers’ maps tossed; Foxconn waiting game; partisan battles in schools; no charges in Milwaukee lead poisoning probe 

Of note: This week we highlight a multi-story Wisconsin State Journal investigation about academic abuse at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Reporter Kelly Meyerhofer detailed multiple recent cases of academic abuse and explored solutions for preventing future abuse. The accounts of academic bullying “show the problem extends beyond what Ph.D. candidate John Brady endured under an abusive adviser before dying by suicide in 2016,” Meyerhofer reports.

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UW-Madison students gather in the lobby of Engineering Hall. The College of Engineering has received several bullying complaints in the past six years. John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal

Threats, abuse, retaliation: UW-Madison confronts persistent problem of academic bullying

Wisconsin State Journal — March 19, 2022

A Wisconsin State Journal investigation identified nine employees who were accused of violating the university’s policy against hostile and intimidating behavior in the last six years.

Read the whole series: Academic Abuse: An Overdue Reckoning

U.S. Supreme Court throws out Wisconsin’s redistricting plan for legislative maps

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — March 23, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out Wisconsin’s legislative maps Wednesday, less than three weeks after a narrowly divided state Supreme Court put them in place. Wednesday’s ruling leaves uncertain what maps will be used for the fall elections for the state Senate and Assembly.

Kim Mahoney’s house on Prairie View Drive in Mount Pleasant, Wis., is the only house still standing in her subdivision, out of an original 13 properties. All other property owners sold to the village of Mount Pleasant and their homes have been demolished to make way for the Foxconn plant. A building on the Foxconn site and the Foxconn construction area are seen in the background. Photo taken on July 1, 2019. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Local officials say it’s only a waiting game until development explodes around Foxconn

Journal Times — March 24, 2022

Mount Pleasant and Racine County officials continue to say they have no regrets with the Foxconn project and the hundreds of millions of dollars in investment in the mostly undeveloped land east of Interstate 94. 

Previously from Wisconsin Watch: Property owners near Foxconn say they were misled. Now their homes are gone.

As political battles play out in schools, advocacy organizations are lawyering up

WPR — March 21, 2022

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked fights over virtual learning, masks and other health precautions at schools — setting the stage for deeper divisiveness over issues like sexual orientation, gender identity and race. That’s why legal advocacy organizations are putting new resources into school issues. 

Montana Birt of Montana and Son Grading shows the worn-down protective coating of an old lead service pipe on June 29, 2021. The pipeline was removed from a home in Eau Claire, Wis., as part of a citywide initiative to replace potentially hazardous lead pipelines with those made of copper or plastic. Madeline Fuerstenberg / Wisconsin Watch

No charges will be filed in years long investigation into Milwaukee Health Department lead program

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — March 24, 2022

No criminal charges will be filed in a years-long investigation into the Milwaukee Health Department’s handling of its childhood lead poisoning prevention program, officials announced Thursday. 

Previously from Wisconsin Watch: ‘It’s criminal’: Milwaukeeans call for speedier lead pipeline removal to cut childhood poisoning

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The byline "Wisconsin Watch" represents members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's editorial and public engagement and marketing staff.