President Obama gives a campaign speech in Iowa.
Cocoa, Florida (FL Today) -- A Brevard Community College math instructor is being investigated by the college for allegedly using class time to urge students to vote for President Barack Obama and for distributing campaign material that says "I pledge to vote for President Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket."
Associate Professor Sharon Sweet, 58, requested and was granted an unpaid leave of absence Monday morning as senior college officials look into the matter. Sweet did not return phone messages or an email seeking comment Monday.
A parent complaint Thursday initiated the investigation, and college officials have since received dozens of emails and phone calls expressing concern, BCC spokesman John Glisch said. The incident sparked outrage online, where it was mentioned by conservative bloggers and posted to various websites.
"The college takes this policy extremely seriously," Glisch said, referring to a policy that prohibits employees from soliciting support for a political candidate during working hours or on college property.
"We are a nonpartisan, public institution," he said. "It is very important that all of our faculty and staff act in that manner at work and while they're on campus."
Glisch said senior college officials investigating the complaints will interview the roughly 100 students in Sweet's classes. In addition, college provosts are reiterating the college's policy to employees.
Sweet teaches college algebra and math for liberal arts on the Melbourne campus and receives a salary of about $40,000 a year. She's been employed by BCC for five years.
You May Also Like...
Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant
Yowtch! Teen accidentally shoots off his penis, testicle
Not so Grand Ol' Party: Strip club business "not so hot" for RNC
PHOTOS: NFL Cheerleaders
Racy pin-up: Soldier's wife poses, causes controversy
Caught on Camera: Boat turbulence injures 7
¡Ay Dios Mio! Man sees face of Jesus in breakfast taco
PHOTOS: George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin crime scene pics
Cheerleader sex: Former Ben-Gal pleads not guilty to sex with teen
Record Breaker: Giant, pregnant python found in Everglades
Yearbook mug shot: Teen who posed in racy yearbook photos busted for underage drinking
Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club
Photos: Ex-Charlie Sheen Goddess Bree Olson
Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures
Sting: 31 pimps and prostitutes arrested (with pics)
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Strange: Some of the most unusual mug shots we've seen
Notorious Women: Bad girls behind bars
Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots
Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots
Smilers: Happy mug shots
Laughers: What's so funny mug shots
Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots
Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots
Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries