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‘Hot For Teacher’ Essay Leads to Expulsion, $2.2M Lawsuit

“An Oakland University student kicked out of school after writing an essay titled ‘Hot for Teacher’ is suing the college for more than $2.2 million, claiming the school violated his rights to free speech and freedom of expression,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

Oakland University is a public college in Michigan.

The student in question, Joseph Corlett, is 57 years old. His lawyer told the Detroit Free Press that, ultimately, his client got in trouble for a homework assignment.

Corlett says he was unfairly kicked out of school after penning the essay in September 2011 while enrolled in English 380: Advanced Critical Writing, taught by Pamela Mitzelfeld. He says the essay, named after the 1984 Van Halen song that glamorizes a student’s lust for his teacher, was a “whimsical exaggeration” of his attraction toward Mitzelfeld. …

Corlett said he wrote the essay after Mitzelfeld assured him no topics were restricted in the free-writing assignment and that she wanted “the raw stuff,” according to the lawsuit.

“Previous essays he had submitted to her were sexually themed,” Adams said. “And in his previous essays, she had given him A’s, so he didn’t think him writing about his attraction to her warranted him being suspended from school.”

Corlett said he was escorted out of Mitzelfeld’s class by the Oakland University police a few days after submitting the composition book. He said he was told he was kicked out of school for the rest of the semester.

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