In incredibly strange news, a "Hot for Teacher" lawsuit has the Internet interested. According to a March 17 AOL News report, a Michigan student was expelled after writing an essay that supposedly had no restrictions.
Unfortunately, the teacher was offended by the essay that 57-year-old Oakland University student, Joseph Corlett wrote titled "Hot for Teacher." For those who do not know, "Hot for Teacher" is the name of a 1984 song by Van Halen.
Corlett was told that there were no restrictions on what he could write the essay about, so he chose to explore the unusual attraction that students sometimes feel for their teachers. He had been instructed to write a journal entry that was "raw . . . a personal diary that maybe we wouldn't want anyone to read." His earlier entry about accidentally seeing a woman's breasts received an A.
Ultimately, Joseph Corlett filed a $2.2 million free speech lawsuit against Oakland University in Rochester. Corlett said,
"When you get past the titillation, you've got to look into what's really going on here. It's academic freedom or no academic freedom. We're all collectively dumbed when speech is suppressed or challenged."
In his journal entry, Corlett wrote about his female instructor looking like Ginger from Gilligan's Island, and he also mentioned that another pregnant instructor was hot too. He described Pamela Mitzelfeld as "tall, blonde, stacked, smart, articulate." The instructor showed the writing to the Dean, and the school suspended Joseph Corlett for three semesters for violating their intimidation or harassment policy, and also told him he must receive counseling if he wanted to enroll again as a student.
In fact, the school literally used to police officers to remove Corlett from the English 380 class, which he said caused extreme embarrassment and mental anguish, which is part of the reason he filed the "Hot for Teacher" lawsuit. He said he was always told he was on the right track, and he was never asked to stop until the police showed up to escort him out of class.
When it comes down to it, unless Corlett threatened these teachers, it seems incredibly strange that a University would expel a student for writing as he was instructed. He was asked to write something that he might not want somebody else to read, and he was repeatedly told that no subject was off limits. If that is true, then how can they justify suspending him and escorting him out of class with two police officers?
Surely writing is incredibly personal and could offend somebody. However, if students cannot be open about what they feel when they write? How will they learn to write? Collett was pursuing a writing degree from the university because bad economic times had driven him to try a different profession.