‘Hot for Teacher’ Lawsuit Dismissed
The lawsuit brought by a former Oakland University (Mich.) student suspended for basing an essay on Van Halen's 'Hot for Teacher' has been resolved. A federal court judge has dismissed Joseph Corlett's suit, ruling that his speech was not protected by the First Amendment.
The New York Daily News is reporting that U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan threw the case out of court, saying that “such expressions, while possibly appropriate in some settings, need not be tolerated by university officials.”
Corlett, now 57 and living in Sarasota, Fla., was suspended and barred from entering the campus in 2012 because of his 33-page essay called 'Hot for Teacher,' written about his professor. Corlett, who has been married for 30 years, claimed that students were given no restrictions on the topic and were encouraged to write honestly. The university disagreed, claiming that its content was very inappropriate.
In the essay, Corlett called his professor "my Ginger," a reference to the glamorous character played by Tina Louise in the '60s TV show 'Gilligan's Island.' Duggan added that when Corlett "graphically compared her to a sitcom character he fetishized in a writing assignment, he brought a pig into the parlor.”
“This is a case that never should have been brought, and justice has been served by its quick and decisive dismissal,” said Len Niehoff, the university’s attorney.
Corlett's lawyer said that she was disapointed by the ruling and was "exploring the next step."