UPDATE (April 18, 2013): College fires Sharon Sweet, at last! Go here for story.
A Florida community college professor named Sharon Sweet harassed and intimidated her students by asking them to state their political party affiliation and handing out bookmark pledges to vote for the POS. Our DCG wrote a post on this yesterday.
The incident was reported by a citizen, whose nephew attends Brevard Community College. The nephew brought home the below bookmark pledging to vote for Obama. The bookmark and pledge was handed out during a mathematics class taught by Assistant Professor Sharon Sweet.
Dr. Richard Swier of Watchdogwire.com, has a pic of the bookmark:
On the tear away GOTTAVOTE.org pledge form that students received, was the requirement to “state their party affiliation”. The student reported that Sweet has repeatedly stated her personal political views in support of the POS in class. The student noted, “There is an older gentleman in the class that will argue with her but he said most of the students did not.”
GOTTAVOTE.org is a site paid for by the Obama-Biden campaign to urge Floridians to register and vote. The website is targeted at young voters.
Dr. Swier observed that “Sweet may have violated the College’s harassment policy by handing out the GOTTA VOTE pledge.”
Swier’s column on Watchdogwire.com quickly got results. He received this comment from the college’s Vice President of Academic Affairs
“Darla Ferguson forwarded your email to me. I am the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Learning Officer for the college. Thank you for referring your concern to us. The college does have specific procedures related to the political activity of faculty and staff. The expectation is that no employee of the College shall solicit support of any political candidate during regular work hours or on College property.
The college first learned of this concern on Thursday and an investigation was initiated. Any inappropriate activities will be curtailed and the faculty will be dealt with according to college policy.
Again, thank you for your concern. The college is taking appropriate actions. We do not want any student to feel coerced.
Linda Miedema, PhD, MSA, BSN
Vice President Academic Affairs”
Oliver Darcy of CampusReform.org has an update, Sept. 17, 2012, that Professor Sharon Sweet has been placed on unpaid leave!
Here’s a statement from John Glisch, Associate Vice President for Communications at Brevard Community College, who said the college’s been inundated with phonecalls and email:
“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 all students in her class.”
Referring to a policy that prohibits employees from soliciting support for a political candidate during working hours or on college property, Glisch said, “The college takes this policy extremely seriously. We are a nonpartisan, public institution. It is very important that all of our faculty and staff act in that manner at work and while they’re on campus.”
Sweet’s actions may have also violated Florida’s election laws.
Section 104.31, of Title IX in chapter 104, states that “no officer or employee of the state… shall… use his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or nomination of officer or influencing another person’s vote or affecting the result thereof.”
Sharon Sweet, 58, teaches Algebra and Math and earns about $40,000 a year. She’s been employed by Brevard Community College for five years.
Hooray! We won this little battle!
Note that the MSM did not report Sharon Sweet’s harassment of her students. This is the work of conservative bloggers.