Joe Corlett is ticked off and suing Michigan's Oakland University for 2 million bucks, because he didn't get away with hitting on his professor. In fact, he seems to believe his journal entries that could be intepreted as sexual harassment should be protected under his First Amendment rights.
The 57-year-old home builder, who enrolled in college due to the weak economy, was taking a writing class when he submitted a journal in 2011 titled "Hot for Teacher." When given the instruction to "record our first impressions of people in our day book assignment," Corlett described his teacher, Pamela Mitzelfeld, as "tall, blonde, stacked, skirt, heels, fingernails, smart, articulate, smile." Uh, yeah, and being that wasn't even the half of it, it's actually no wonder the university expelled him from the university.
He went on to compare Mitzelfeld to Ginger from Gilligan's Island and said he feared being distracted, writing, "I'll never learn a thing." Then, he wrote that another teacher who was pregnant was "hot, and not just from baking the bun in her oven." WHAT?!
It would be one thing if all he had done was innocently use sexualized, frat boy terms like "stacked" to describe his professor in one journal entry. But the guy went well beyond that. Particularly when he, like the university later said in a statement, didn't "recognize the monumental inappropriateness of certain work." When Mitzelfeld expressed concern about the journal entry, his reaction was downright defensive, railing out about how he pays taxes and the university is trying to dictate what people think, and "Osama Bin Laden himself couldn't have come up with a better way for our country to commit suicide than with this political correctness being perpetuated on our nation's campuses." Wow. He's got to be kidding, right?
But no. Corlett seemed to have no remorse for the fact that he acted anything but respectful toward faculty, that he made his professor deeply uncomfortable, and that his work was completely out of line. For that reason alone, I can understand why he was thrown out not just of his class, but the university.
Don't get me wrong. I'd be the first one to defend anyone for freedom of speech and creative expression, but there's also a particular decorum students have to adhere to when they're in the classroom, which Corlett seems to have absolutely no interest in. Paying taxes and tuition doesn't give anyone the right to objectify and disrespect their professors. Here's hoping the judge in this case agrees, because I can't possibly see how this man deserves $2 mil. for his bad behavior.
Whose side are you on in this case?