OU Student ‘Hot For Teacher’ Lawsuit Dismissed By Federal Judge (UPDATE)By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Joseph Corlett, a 57-year-old college student suspended for writing an essay called 'Hot for Teacher,' lost his $2.2 million first and 14th amendment lawsuit against Oakland University (OU). Corlett filed the lawsuit against the university alleging that his free-speech rights were violated after he was suspended for writing about his sexual attraction to a teacher in a class journal in 2011.
U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan ruled the case in the University's favor and said that Coreno has no First Amendment right to express his sexual attraction to his instructor.
When Corlett referred to his teacher as 'stacked' and graphically compared her to a sitcom character he fetishized in a writing assignment, he brought a pig into the parlor," Duggan said.
"Such expressions, while possibly appropriate in some settings, need not be tolerated by university officials."
Corlett was suspended in February 2012 for three semesters after writing about his writing teacher. The journal titled, 'Hot for Teacher,' was named after a song by the rock band 'Van Halen.' In the journal, he compared his female lecturer to Ginger, a hot character in the 1960s TV show 'Gilligan's Island' and described her as 'tall, blonde, stacked,' among other things.
"Kee-Rist, I'll never learn a thing. ... I'll search for something unattractive about her. No luck yet," Corlett wrote.
After reading the assignment, the concerned professor informed the dean. The university officials removed Corlett from the writing class and suspended him from the University for the Inappropriate comments directed towards the teacher. They also advised him to undergo sensitive counseling, if he wished to return to the university.
The federal judge in Michigan said that his comments might be "appropriate for a karaoke bar, but doesn't have to be tolerated in a college setting."
Corlett was pursuing a degree in writing and rhetoric at OU. He claimed that students in the 'Advanced Critical Class' were told to write honestly and that no topic was forbidden. Corlett also said that the professor did not have any problem with his earlier essay on accidentally seeing women's breasts that fetched him an A grade.
Corlett, who now lives in Sarasota, Fla., is a home builder and enrolled in the university because of the weak economy after earning an associate degree from Oakland Community College.