DETROIT (AP) – A college student suspended for writing an essay called “Hot for Teacher” has no First Amendment right to express his sexual attraction to his instructor, a judge said Tuesday.
Joseph Corlett’s lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan, who ruled in favor of Oakland University in suburban Detroit.
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,” the judge said.
Corlett, 57, was suspended in 2012 after writing about his writing instructor. He compared her to the sexy starlet Ginger from the 1960s TV series, “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.
He titled his essay “Hot for Teacher,” the name of a Van Halen song. Corlett said students in the English 380 class were told to write honestly and that no topic was off limits. Oakland said the work was clearly inappropriate.
“This is a case that never should have been brought, and justice has been served by its quick and decisive dismissal,” the university’s attorney, Len Niehoff, said Tuesday.
Corlett, who now lives in Sarasota, Fla., is a home builder who pursued a college degree because of the weak economy. He enrolled full-time in 2011 after earning an associate degree from a community college.
His lawyer, Alari Adams, said she was disappointed by Duggan’s decision and was “exploring the next step” in the case.
Corlett’s suspension requires him to undergo sensitivity counseling if he ever wants to return as a student.
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