Apr 22, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2022-2023 
Catalog/Handbook 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term that includes all forms of non-consensual activity  or unwelcomed sexual conduct. Sexual misconduct includes a broad range of behaviors including (but not limited to) rape/sexual battery, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

Sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence are illegal. Several state and federal laws prohibit these behaviors. Two key federal laws in this area are Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) in higher education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.

Polk State prohibits any act of sexual assault misconduct, battery, or other crime of violence upon employees, students, or prospective students, applicants, volunteers, visitors, vendors, or contractors, including any affiliates conducting College business or assisting with events or activities at the College.

  • Polk State’s Title IX Statement outlines the College’s obligations under Title IX. The Title IX Statement also identifies the College’s Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators who are responsible for overseeing the College’s compliance with federal regulations. The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators are also identified in the Sexual Misconduct section in the Polk State College Annual Security Report.
  • Polk State’s Policy on Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct (Procedure 5027, 6076, 6086, and 6091) discuss many forms of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment.
  • Polk State’s Policy on Sexual Harassment (Procedure 6076) provides detailed guidance related to reporting and support of victims.
  • Polk State’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct (Procedure 5027) gives specific guidance to support victims of rape and sexual battery, as well as processes to assist with apprehending perpetrators and fulfilling special reporting obligations for anyone with knowledge of these types of crime.

Definitions Related to Sexual Misconduct:

Domestic Violence refers to any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

Dating Violence refers to violence between individuals who have or recently had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

Sexual assault refers to the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another, or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object without consent.

Stalking is willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following, harassing, or cyberstalking another person causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

The College’s policies on sexual misconduct can be found within the Polk State Procedures and District Board of Trustees Rules listed below, as well as in the 2020-2021 Annual Security Report.

The College has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual misconduct regardless of who commits the offense. When the College becomes aware of possible sexual misconduct, Title IX requires the Polk State College to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation to eliminate the harassing conduct, to address its effects on the victim, and to prevent it from happening again.

All students and employees are encouraged to report anything they witness that might be sexual misconduct to the Office of Employee Engagement and Compliance, the Human Resources Department, or the Associate Vice President for Student Services on the Winter Haven or Lakeland campus.

Additional information about Polk State’s rules and policies on harassment and misconduct can be found through the following documents:


District Board of Trustees Rules:


Polk State College Procedures


The Director of the Office of Employee Engagement and Complience (OEEC) ensures compliance with federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment. Any employee or student who believes that he or she may have been a victim of discrimination or sexual harassment should contact:

Lonnie Thompson
Interim Vice President for Human Resources (Title IX Coordinator)
Polk State College
999 Avenue H, N.E.
Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
WAD 227

Lawrence Pakowski
Associate Vice President for Student Services
Polk State College
999 Avenue H, N.E.
Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
WAD 153A

The following individuals may also be contacted for assistance:

Yulonda Bell
Associate Dean of Student Services, Winter Haven Campus
Polk State College
999 Avenue H, N.E.
Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
WAD 176

Keith Bonney
Associate Dean of Student Services, Lakeland Campus
Polk State College
2425 Winter Lake Road
Lakeland, FL 33803
LTB 1298

Simmi Johnson
Associate Dean of Student Services, Lakeland Campus
Polk State College
2425 Winter Lake Road
Lakeland, FL 33803
LTB 1286