'Hot for Teacher' 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.
Joseph Corlett, 57, now lives in Sarasota, Fla., after moving from Orion Township. He filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit against Oakland University's Board of Trustees, President Gary Russi and Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Mary Beth Snyder.
"In the end, he just ended up getting suspended from school for completing a homework assignment," his lawyer Alari Adams said Friday after filing the lawsuit.
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.
"Are you kidding me?" he wrote in cursive in the composition entry submitted with the lawsuit. "I should drop right now. There is no way I'll concentrate in class especially with that sexy little mole on her upper lip beckoning with every accented word. And that smile."
Mitzelfeld on Friday was listed on the school's website as a special lecturer and associate director of the college's writing center.
Oakland University spokesman Ted Montgomery said Friday afternoon that the school had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit and does not comment on pending litigation.
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."