Walker signs new school child abuse reporting laws

Melissa McCrady

Walker signs new school child abuse reporting laws

By Melissa McCrady. CREATED Nov 23, 2011 - UPDATED: Nov 23, 2011

RACINE - Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker signed a bill into law that requires all school employers to report child abuse, assault and neglect.

Walker signed the bill at the Racine Policing Station because of an alleged incident that happened within the Racine Unified School District.

Police said a child was abused, but educational assistants didn't report it.

"To me, this is Maddy's bill," said Jennifer Pichelman.  Her daughter Maddy was the reason behind Senate Bill 43.  It requires all school employees to report child abuse, assault and neglect.

Previously, only teachers, administrators and counselors were held accountable.

"My daughter was sexually assaulted three times."

Pichelman says Lewis Givens, a teacher's aide at Maddy's school - Olympia Brown Elementary - touched the nine-year-old inappropriately.

Maddy has special needs, and is non-verbal.

"She doesn't have a voice.  She can't come home and say 'Mom, somebody touched me.' "

Now, Pichelman is her voice.  She spoke out and convinced lawmakers to pass the bill.

Walker is working to ensure the bill does not apply to public universities across the state.