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What Happens If I Report Mistreatment?

Committed to a Respectful Learning Environment

We want every student to have a positive clerkship/course experience. Mistreatment arises when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and interferes with the learning process.

Please be assured that you can report mistreatment anonymously or choose to identify yourself. All reports will be handled with complete confidentiality. Mistreat reports that are submitted anonymously that identify educators will be recorded, tracked, evaluated and acted upon when conduct is egregious or a trend is identified.

Students who experience any type of sexual harassmet are encouraged to contact Kim Yoder, Equity Officer and Deputy Title IX coordinator, at kyoder1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or 717-531-0003, ext. 283353.

Students with any concerns about the possible repercussions of reporting mistreatment should contact Dr. George Blackall at 717-531-6148 or gblackall@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

We understand the importance of anonymous reporting for students. However, in certain cases where the reported behavior is extremely unacceptable, we may feel obligated to identify the educator in question. In such cases, the following process would occur:

  • The decision to identify the educator will be made by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment Advisory Committee, not by any one individual.
  • If the a decision is made to identify the educator, the student who filed the report would will be notified. The student’s identity will not be revealed to the educator in question.
  • The educator in question will be contacted and informed of the College of Medicine’s zero-tolerance policy toward retaliation.
  • For Title IX-related incidents, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed due to considerations for the safety of the University community. All Title IX-related incidents are handled directly by the College of Medicine Title IX coordinator.

See a printable flowchart of what happens when mistreatment occurs

When A Mistreatment Event Occurs

When a mistreatment event occurs, students have multiple reporting options.

All reports are then reviewed by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment.

If Sexual Harassment Has Occurred

The report is reviewed to determine if harassment or discrimination as define in Penn State Policy AD-85 or Penn State Policy AD-91 has occurred, the report is sent to Kim Lantz-Yoder, who follows Title IX guidelines for reporting and resolution.

If Sexual Harassment Has Not Occurred

If sexual harassment has not occurred, the incident will be investigated by the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment. The office will take into account all information, including if there is any prior history of mistreatment reports.

If the incident is deemed not to warrant intervention, the case is closed.

If the incident warrants intervention, the Office will follow the Stanford Mistreatment Response Pyramid.

For Bias-Related Reports

The Office for a Respectful Learning Environment will notify the Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, upon receipt of any learning environment reports that include bias related issues or events. The Director of the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment will seek guidance and collaboration from the Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, to formulate appropriate responses and interventions for any bias-related report. Third parties may be contacted for assistance in investigations.

In addition, when bias-related reports that include racism or discrimination are received, the following actions will occur:

  • The director of the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment automatically refers all cases that involve racism and other forms of discrimination perpetrated by a student to the Campus Conduct Committee for review and appropriate disciplinary action.
  • In cases involving racism and other forms of discrimination perpetrated by a student, the director of the Office for a Respectful Learning refers the case to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for review and decision on appropriate action that may include completion of a professionalism form.
  • For cases involving racism and other forms of discrimination perpetrated by faculty or staff members, in addition to following the Stanford Mistreatment Response Pyramid, the appropriate individual in Human Resources will be notified to ensure that institutional policies are followed and enforced.

About the Stanford Mistreatment Response Pyramid

The Stanford Mistreatment Response Pyramid classifies mistreatment issues into four levels of action, based on the number of reports received about mistreatment by the same person:

  • Level 1: Based on a single mistreatment incident; handled with discussion and feedback intervention.
  • Level 2: Second mistreatment incident; handled with an Individual Action Plan intervention with follow-up. Egregious issues may be escalated to a higher level.
  • Level 3: For more than three mistreatment incidents; handled with a supervisor involvement intervention.
  • Level 4: For severe incidents; handled with disciplinary intervention.

When egregious issues take place, even as a first violation, they may be escalated to a higher level.

When mandated-reporting issues occur, mandated reporting supersedes all other levels.

When no mistreatment is identified, student coaching takes place.

See the Stanford Mistreatment Response Pyramid here.