Chardon 7th grade teacher suspended for telling student: 'Go back to your country'

CHARDON, Ohio - A Chardon middle school teacher has been suspended following an incident where he told a student last November to "go back to your country." 

School officials said the teacher — Steve Patterson, who teaches 7th grade — was placed on a three-day suspension. The incident occurred on Nov. 14, 2017.

According to the Geauga Maple Leaf, Patterson made the comment after he mispronounced a student's name and the child corrected him. Patterson told school officials he acknowledged the comment and he was just trying to "kid with her."

School officials said that Patterson's conduct was not appropriate in the school setting and will not occur in the future.

Patterson was ordered by the district to complete an ethics and communication training course. The district also sent a referral to the Ohio Department of Education Office of Professional Conduct regarding the incident.

The Chardon School District released the following statement:

When employee conduct is called into question the district follows a progressive discipline process; verbal reprimand, written reprimand, suspension without pay, and, establishing a clear line of expectations that future conduct of this type will not be tolerated and will result in termination. 

As a district we expect, and find, that our personnel exhibit high levels of professionalism in all settings.  We will continue to hold all staff members accountable using our progressive discipline process if and when they fail to meet our expectations. 

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