Suspended ‘Hot for Teacher’ Student Suing University
Last year an Oakland University (Mich.) student was suspended and severely reprimanded for writing an essay titled ‘Hot for Teacher’ and turning it into the teacher he was hot for. Now 57-year-old Joseph Corlett is suing members of the University and the Board of Trustees for violating his right to free speech and free expression. He wants $2.2 million.
Corlett defends the essay — whose title was inspired by the 1984 Van Halen hit of the same name — that got him removed from the classroom by police escort by saying he’d received high marks on on previous papers with sexual content in the English 380: Advanced Critical Writing class, taught by Pamela Mitzelfeld. There were no restrictions, he said in February 2012, and, “the syllabus encouraged free writing, free thinking, particularly first impressions. So I wrote down my first impressions of my teacher.”
“She walks in, and I say to myself, ‘Drop, mother (expletive), drop.’ Christ, I’ll never learn a thing. Tall, blond, stacked, skirt, heels, fingernails, smart, articulate, smile. I’m toast, but I stay.”
The Detroit Free Press reports that the lawsuit says Mitzelfeld asked for the “raw stuff.” “In the end,” Corlett’s lawyer told the newspaper, “he just ended up getting suspended from school for completing a homework assignment.”
The former student was offered a refund but refused. He appeared in front of a University Conduct Committee in January 2012, but says he was not allowed to present any evidence, and guidelines were not followed. Corlett was banished from Oakland University until winter 2013, as long as he completed sensitivity counseling.
Corlett now lives in Sarasota, Fla. He indicated at the time that his wife of 30 years took no issue with his choice of essay topics.