Joseph Corlett, a 57-year old former Oakland University student, filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the school because he believes his right to free speech was infringed upon after a journal essay submitted for class resulted in a suspension.
Corlett was banned from campus for a paper he handed in titled "Hot for Teacher," named for the 1984 Van Halen single.
In the 2011 essay – which the university labeled as a form of "intimidation" – Corlett referred to his professor as "tall, blond, stacked, skirt, heels, fingernails, smart, articulate, smile."
Along with a three-semester suspension, Corlett was forced to undergo sensitivity training. He was also refunded his tuition for the duration of the suspension.
Corlett, who insists his instructor told him no topic was off-limits, told The Detroit News from his home in Florida:
"This is all about civil rights. I can’t, as an American in good conscience, stand by while such outrageous and egregious violations of civil rights transpire in higher education. I couldn’t sleep at night."
We’re guessing the $2 million might help with that.
"He’s filing this suit on his behalf of himself and on the behalf of students who attend Oakland and possibly will attend Oakland University in the future to ensure that their free speech rights are upheld," said his Detroit-based attorney, Alari K. Adams.