This week I spoke at the Lou Frey Institute on Constitutional Day at the University of Central Florida and students were particularly interested in the controversy surrounding Professor Sharon Sweet at Brevard Community College (BCC) in Florida. Sweet, 58, is now on leave after she allegedly told students to sign a pledge that reads: “I pledge to vote for President Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket.”
Sweet reportedly took the pledge from GottaVote.org, a website funded by the Obama campaign.
Florida law states in 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.”
The School has suspended Sweet without pay from her $40,000 a year job teaching college algebra and math (which also shows the shockingly low pay for college professors in the state). Sweet is notably not listed with the faculty. If the allegations are true, the pledge forms should be treated as an extremely serious breach for an academic. Not only does it violate Florida law, it clearly destroys basic requirements for a learning environment, particularly for non-Obama supporters.