Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BCC Professor Makes Students Pledge For Obama

MELBOURNE, Florida -- The scandal at the Brevard Community College Melbourne Campus involving a college algebra associate professor who allegedly asked students during class time on campus to pledge their support for President Barack Obama was front page news early this morning on Foxnews.com.

Despite the national attention, the liberal-leaning local FLORIDA TODAY newspaper only used a small headline of the article further down on its website, opting instead to top headline a Matt Reed opinion article that does not address the scandal.

UPDATE: At around 10:30 a.m. today, the story became the headliner on FLORIDA TODAY.

Brevard County residents, who lean heavily conservative on Florida's Space Coast, were quick to voice their outrage on the BCC Facebook page upon hearing of the alleged political activity.

As early as September 14, one resident wrote "I hear that one of your Algebra Professors made all the students in her class sign this oath that they would vote for Obama. I think you need to investigate this allegation and stop this coercion immediately!!! If you remove this comment without taking action you will have additional people with authority contacting the BCC Administration. No teacher, no person has the right to force or coerce or threaten their students to sign an OATH to VOTE for ANYONE!!!!"

This was followed by several more posts to the BCC Facebook page demanding an investigation. 

BCC replied to the comments yesterday with the following status update:

"Brevard Community College has received complaints alleging politically-based inappropriate behavior on the part of Associate Professor Sharon Sweet, an instructor of mathematics. The allegations center on her soliciting support in her classes for President Obama in the upcoming election.

As stated in an earlier comment posted here on Friday, College officials learned of the allegations Thursday afternoon, Sept. 13, following a call from a concerned parent and immediately began an investigation.

The College has specific policies that address the political activities of faculty and staff, which state that no College employee shall solicit support for a political candidate during regular College work hours or on College property.


Based on the allegations, Associate Professor Sweet has requested, and been granted, a leave of absence without pay effective immediately.


The College will continue its investigation into the matter, which will include interviews with students in her classes. Additionally, the College is taking steps to reiterate its policy on political activity to all faculty and staff."

Records show that Sharon Sweet is a senator for the Brevard County Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, a collective bargaining organization that overwhelmingly endorses Democratic candidates.