President Obama / Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images
A Florida college algebra teacher faces termination for urging students -- and in some cases forcing them -- to sign pledge cards promising to vote for President Obama last November.
Officials at Brevard Community College recommended the dismissal of Sharon Sweet after a three-month investigation prompted by complaints.
"Sweet's actions caused students to feel considerable discomfort, to believe their privacy was being invaded, to fear their grade could be negatively impacted if they refused to sign the pledge cards, and to feel intimidated," said a statement from the college.
The investigation found that Sweet, a registered Democrat, distributed partisan campaign materials and promoted presidential politics.
"The investigation's evidence calls into question Professor Sweet's compliance with college policy in compromising student learning time in class to impose her personal political beliefs, and misrepresenting her intentions regarding the distribution of partisan political pledge cards in class," said the statement.
More from Florida Today:
"Sweet violated BCC's code of conduct prohibiting employees from soliciting political support for candidates and creating a hostile academic environment, according to the college's statement (on Friday). ...
"Sweet, notified about the recommendations for termination before the statement was released, taught algebra and math for liberal arts at the Melbourne campus and earned $40,000. Sweet worked at the college for five years. A woman who answered a cell phone listed in Sweet's name refused to comment on the case.
"The case drew national attention from conservative commentators and bloggers, drawing heavy criticism during the contentious presidential campaign. Sweet was removed from her teaching assignments and remains suspended with pay pending the outcome of her case. ...
"Sweet has 10 working days to respond to the investigation's findings. The recommendation will then be forwarded to the college's Board of Trustees, who will review the information before making a final decision at a hearing. No hearing date has been set."
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