An Ohio school teacher has been suspended for three days without pay for unprofessional statements to a student. Steve Patterson has been a Chardon Middle School science teacher for 25 years.
A resolution was signed by the board of education that finalized his suspension. According to it, on November 14, 2017, a female student corrected the teacher when the Ohio school teacher pronounced her name wrong. His response was to say, “go back to your country.”
The resolution also stated that Patterson admitted what he said to her but say that he was trying “kid with her.”
On the same day he made those inappropriate comments to the student, he also got upset with another one for chewing gum. With no administrator present he searched that child’s pencil pouch and sweatshirt pocket.
The resolution goes on to say that “Mr. Patterson has a history or pattern of unprofessional conduct toward students, including both physical actions and verbal statements.”
Four other incidents are listed, dating back to 2010 and after each one the Ohio school teacher was reprimanded in writing or verbally.
On March 31, 2010, he made a comment referring to “dumb blondes.” He was also reprimanded for swearing in class.
In 2012, when a student was “giving attitude” he asked the student, “Do you not want to work with him because he is black?”
Perhaps one of the most inflammatory remarks he made to his class came on January 26, 2017. A student asked Patterson if he “was a dictator like Hitler.” The teacher responded, “If I was Hitler does that mean I put you in an oven?”
The school district has stated, “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.
“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.”
Patterson must now complete ethics and communication training courses.