Teacher suspended after saying “go back to your country”


CHARDON, Ohio (AP) — A middle school teacher in Ohio who says he jokingly told a student to “go back to your country” has been suspended.

School officials in Chardon, near Cleveland, say science teacher Steve Patterson has a history of making inappropriate comments to students.

The district says the suspension comes after a student in November corrected the teacher for mispronouncing her name and he responded by saying “go back to your country.”

Patterson told school officials he was joking.

A resolution approved by the board this month says a student a year ago asked if Patterson was a dictator like Adolf Hitler. The board says he responded by saying “if I was Hitler, does that mean I put you in an oven?”

A message seeking comment was left with Patterson on Friday.

Another teacher to get sensitivity training

An Ohio school district says it will utilize cultural sensitivity training following an incident in which a teacher told a black student he might be lynched if he didn’t get back to classwork.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports Mason Schools spokeswoman Tracey Carson said Tuesday during a school board meeting the district would speed up racial sensitivity training. Carson says employees will start the district’s expanded “Equity Action Steps” program next month.

The district in a northeast Cincinnati suburban city has outlined five objectives it will complete in the coming months. The overhaul includes a staff evaluation by an independent research firm, the study of a book on racial identity, and intense training.

The middle school teacher was reprimanded and put on leave while she underwent sensitivity training.

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