Court fails student's inappropriate “Hot for Teacher” essay

July 25, 2013

An Oakland University student in Michigan who was suspended earlier this year for an essay entitled “Hot for Teacher,” has been unsuccessful in suing the university for violating his First Amendment rights. In the essay, Joseph Corlett quotes the Van Halen song of the same name and then goes on to write of his affection for an instructor. Corlett, backed in the case by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, noted that students had been encouraged to be creative and write about whatever they wanted in their writing journals. Judge Patrick J. Duggan rejected the claims, saying that because "universities undoubtedly retain some responsibility to teach students proper professional behavior,” this was not a First Amendment issue. "When the plaintiff referred to his Oakland University English professor as 'stacked' and graphically compared her to a sitcom character he fetishized in a writing assignment, he brought a pig into the parlor,” says Duggan. Inside Higher Education