Florida Polytechnic University strives to ensure that the living, learning and working environment on the University campus is free from unlawful sexual discrimination, including but not limited to educational programs, employment, and admission. Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct is prohibited by Title IX and the University that includes but not limited to sexual harassment and sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
– Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 to the 1964 Civil Rights Act
The Title IX Coordinator at Florida Polytechnic University receives reports of unlawful sexual discrimination and sexual misconduct affecting the University campus community.
The University is working towards fostering a climate free from sexual misconduct through training, education, prevention programs, and through policies and procedures that encourage prompt reporting, prohibit retaliation, and promote timely, fair and impartial investigation and resolution of sexual misconduct cases in a manner that eliminates the sexual misconduct, prevents its recurrence, and addresses its effects.
Florida Polytechnic University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment (PDF) is consistent with federal law in prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender or sex.
The entire university community is subject to this policy, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The Title IX Coordinator coordinates Florida Poly’s compliance with Title IX, and responds to reports of sexual misconduct by providing outreach, resources and investigations.
Florida Poly strives to provide a safe and welcoming campus community. Learn what you can do as a Faculty or Staff member to help yourself and others end sex discrimination and sexual misconduct on our campus.
Experienced Sexual Misconduct?
When a faculty or staff member is the victim of sexual misconduct, they will be afforded all the rights and protections that are guaranteed in our Sexual Harassment Policy. Support and information on reporting options is available through the Employee Assistance Program, the University Police, and Title IX Coordinator.
Report unlawful sexual discrimination or sexual misconduct.
What to do if a student makes a disclosure?
You may learn of an incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. Your response is very important and may determine whether the person who has experiences this chooses to tell anyone else or seek professional assistance.
You are REQUIRED to immediately report the information that you have learned to the Title IX Coordinator (Michelle Disson).
- Explain and be clear about your role and responsibility to report the information shared, plus your ability to help
- Do NOT promise confidentiality, but explained that you can provide privacy. You will not go around telling others beyond the Title IX Coordinator
- Provide information on confidential reporting to on campus counseling Casey Fox, off campus resources Peace River Center.
- Listen, but do not investigate
- Promptly notify the Title IX Coordinator of the allegation within 48 hours of the report
- Conduct your own investigation, even the best intentions may exacerbate a situation or compromise an investigation
- Dictate what a person should do
- Blame the student
The Title IX Coordinator is also available to answer any questions that you may have regarding your rights, responsibilities and options as a Florida Polytechnic University Employee.
What Happens After I Submit a Report?
- The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the individual affected by the misconduct and provide resources, information, and requesting a meeting. This meeting will go over resources, options of reporting and investigating, confidentiality, and medical attention if needed.
- Facilitate interim measures when needed and appropriate (including but not limited to: academic assistance, withdrawal, No Contact Orders, and housing assistance)
- Take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.
Note: the reporter will not receive updated information after the report is made to maintain confidentiality.
Assisting the Accused Student
Both parties are our students and it is necessary to understand an accused student is also going through a process. These individuals accused of policy violations are also afforded resources and the right to due process. These students may reach out for guidance, advice, or support. Serving as a resource is a critical way that you can help ensure safety and respect for all parties involved.
Resources for the accused student:
Phone: (863) 413-2700 24/7 Crisis Line or (863) 413-2708 Office Line
Provides trained advocates for Polk County that offer emotional, medical, and legal support and information 24-hours a day. They are a local organization that provides free and confidential immediate and ongoing counseling and advocacy for anyone impacted by sexual violence, including friends and family of victims/survivors. Will also provide SAFE exams on site.
Phone: 911 or (863) 834-6900
Lakeland Police Department defines sexual violence crimes by Florida law. Florida law has different definitions of sexual violence than Florida Polytechnic University. Criminal cases in a court of law also use a beyond a reasonable doubt standard to determine if a law was broken.
Phone: 911 or (863) 298-6200
Polk County Sheriff’s Office defines sexual violence crimes by Florida law. Florida law has different definitions of sexual violence than Florida Polytechnic University. Criminal cases in a court of law also use a beyond a reasonable doubt standard to determine if a law was broken.
Phone: (863) 687-1100
Local hospital that provides immediate medical attention. Located on Lakeland Hills Boulevard.
Operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Carries out programs to prevent sexual violence and help victims. operate a 24/7 hotline for anyone who has been impacted by sexual assault and is connected with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country.
Highly trained advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
The coalition does not provide direct services, but have a referral site for other resources covering a wide variety or needs.
The NSVRC does not provide direct services to sexual assault victims but rather supports those who do, such as coalitions, rape crisis centers, national, state and local agencies and allied programs.
Provides multiple services including: training, technical assistance, website and an information clearinghouse. The Stalking Resource Center provides direct assistance to build the capacity of criminal justice and victim services organizations to respond effectively to stalking. The Stalking Resource Center operates a 24/7 hotline for anyone experiencing stalking.
Stop Street Harassment operates the National Street Harassment Hotline for anyone who has experienced street harassment.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center operates a 24/7 hotline for anyone who might be or knows someone involved in human trafficking. Support for more than 200 languages.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline operates a 24/7 lifeline that provides free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources.