Youth counselor's death at Lincoln Hills Schools was a preventable tragedy.

For Immediate Release: 
June 26, 2024
Contact: Patrick Wycoff, (608) 826-1932‬, [email protected]

Youth counselor's death at Lincoln Hills Schools was a preventable tragedy.

Last night, Corey Proulx, 49, died after being assaulted by a teen at the school. Proulx was a youth counselor at the Lincoln Hills School. Lincoln Hills School workers are represented by AFSCME Council 32, the union for public service workers in Wisconsin.

“What happened at Lincoln Hills was an avoidable tragedy and although we are heartbroken we are not surprised.” said AFSCME Council 32 Executive Director Patrick Wycoff.  

For 13 years the voices of workers in our Prisons have not just been ignored, but silenced by management within the Department of Corrections. Union leaders have been retaliated against by managers when issues were raised and the result has been workplaces where staff have to be just as afraid of their bosses as the inmates they supervise. 

“We raised the issues of staff safety at Lincoln Hills in our first meetings with Secretary Carr and Juvenile Corrections administrator Ron Hermes, in 2019,” said Wycoff “We wanted a real process where workers in our prisons could have their voices be heard and collaborate on solutions to solve the issues that plagued Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes. We were dismissed out of hand.”

“Instead of working with workers, the Evers administration elected to continue the heavy-handed management tactics of previous administrations. They refused to listen and allowed their appointees to treat the workers as the enemy.” 

This behavior is not just happening in the Department of Corrections, but also at the Department of Natural Resources and several other state agencies. Paul Spink, President of AFSCME Council 32 said “I’m tired of being told how invaluable I am by the administration and then being forced to watch as their disinterest in our voices and our safety tragically lead to the preventable death of a fellow state employee.”

Wycoff said “We expect changes at the Department of Corrections, and we demand that the Evers administration include worker voices in making those changes.” 

Our prayers go out to the family of the deceased worker - and we stand in Solidarity with all of the workers at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes Schools as they grieve.


AFSCME Council 32 represents public service workers in Wisconsin.