Some of you know that I live in Wisconsin, and I don’t always agree with my governor, but here is a story that shows what can be done when people work together setting partisan politics aside and focusing on wellness and health for children who come from adverse childhood experiences. That’s what ACEs stands for. It is my fervent belief that unless we address this, many of the problems with kids we see have will continue to spiral like a snowball down a hill, culminating in major adult problems that run the gamut from sexual abuse to violence. What Governor Walker’s wife Tonette is doing is nothing short of a miracle. And I applaud her for it. And everyone that works within this incredible system. Every state needs to look to Wisconsin and try and duplicate what they are doing.
Here in California, many people think that it’s only liberal Democrats who have a corner on championing the science of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and putting it into practice. That might be because people who use ACEs science don’t expel or suspend students, even if they’re throwing chairs and hurling expletives at the teacher. They ask “What happened to you?” rather than “What’s wrong with you?” as a frame when they create juvenile detention centers where kids don’t fight, reduce visits to emergency departments and shrink teen pregnancy rates….among many other things.
Because they do all this and more by abandoning the notion of trying to change people’s behavior by punishing, blaming or shaming them, and instead using understanding, nurturing and healing, some people might think this approach belongs to the purview of one political party.
Mmmmmm….Not so fast.
To paraphrase Tonette Walker, the First Lady of Wisconsin, married to…
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