Rollins Professor Apologizes: “Controversy Wasn’t About Sexual Harassment”

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Richard Foglesong, a Rollins College professor and political analyst for WFTV, has apologized for untrue statements he made about Marshall Polston.

By Jacob Engels

After facing the possibility of an official complaint with the Department of Education and legal action, Rollins College Professor Richard Foglesong has apologized for untrue statements he made about the student who stood up to a radical professor last month.

Marshall Polston clashed with his humanities professor, Areej Zufari, who then issued a revenge grade, filed several false reports with campus security and police to paint the student as “dangerous”, ultimately leading to his suspension.

All of her claims were proven false by an internal investigation by Rollins College officials and Polston’s suspension was lifted. The Central Florida Post was the first to report on this and our continued coverage scooped the traditional media at every turn, keeping our readers up to date on all major developments.

In the middle of this controversy, which garnered international attention, Foglesong rushed to his defend his fellow professor and proclaimed that this was really “Title IX” case and had nothing to do with anything that occurred in the classroom or between the student.

“What’s to tell you? Title IX protects accusers and accused in sexual harassment cases.”

Essentially, Foglesong reasoned that the school could not defend itself or defend the professors actions because it would violate Title IX. When pressed about how he determined this, Foglesong proclaimed he knew what he was talking about.

“You are right: you don’t see it anywhere. But you are hearing it from me, and I am a Rollins professor. I know what I am talking about.” Both of these statements appeared in the comment section of a Facebook status made by Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell.

This lead to the student, Marshall Polston, to write a letter demanding a public apology from Foglesong. The letter also informed Rollins that he (Polston) was looking into filing a complaint with the Department of Education, in addition to his attorney Kenneth Lewis exploring the possibility of a lawsuit.

The letter, addressed to Rollins College President Grant Cornwell, can be viewed below.

Polston/Foglesong Letter by Jacob Engels on Scribd

Not wanting to face a potential lawsuit or investigation into FERPA violations by the Department of Education, Foglesong has now admitted he was wrong in Facebook status appearing on his profile, though he has not made this status publicly view-able for those who are not already his friends on Facebook.

Who told him that it was sexual harassment and a Title IX case? Is it common for school officials to share ongoing investigations with staff like high school gossip? If so, they should be the ones worried about legal action from Polston and an investigation by the Department of Education.

Mr. Foglesong ate his words, his part in this is done and I respect his willingness to admit he was wrong. Either he made it up… or someone at Rollins is leaking confidential information about open investigations, which is it?

We simply don’t know at this point.

If Rollins College does not immediately investigate and fire the person who leaked protected information to Foglesong… the Department of Education should launch a full investigation.

Whether that happens or not, Mr. Foglesong should be recognized for admitting he spread fake news and demand Rollins College fire whomever propagated the lies about Mr. Polston.

Not only was that information false, it also made Foglesong look very foolish, following decades he has spent building up a solid reputation around town.

Let’s fix this the right way and show that Central Florida can handle matters on our own, without the feds coming to clean up the mess at Rollins College.


Jacob Engels is an Orlando based journalist whose work has been featured and republished in news outlets around the globe including Politico, InfoWars, MSNBC, Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Daily Mail UK, Associated Press, People Magazine, ABC, and Fox News to name a few. Mr. Engels focuses on stories that other news outlets neglect or willingly hide to curry favor among the political and business special interests in the state of Florida.