Chardon school teacher suspended after inappropriate comments to - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Chardon school teacher suspended after inappropriate comments to student

(Source: Chardon Local Schools District) (Source: Chardon Local Schools District)

A Chardon school teacher was placed on unpaid leave after making an unprofessional statement to a middle school student.

Steve Patterson, a science teacher at Chardon Middle School, was suspended by the Chardon Board of Education following a meeting on Jan. 16.

According to the board of education, on Nov. 14, a student corrected Patterson for mispronouncing her name. He responded to the female student by saying, "Go back to your country."

Patterson acknowledged making the comment to the student and said he was trying to "kid with her."

The Chardon Local School Districts released a statement regarding the suspension:

"Providing our students a safe and secure environment while at school is our district's top priority. The issue of discipline administered to a Chardon Middle School teacher has become the subject of recent media coverage. Following an investigation related to unprofessional statements allegedly made to a student in November of 2017, the district concluded that the conduct of the teacher constituted just cause for further discipline including:

  • A hearing before the Superintendent clearly establishing that this conduct is not appropriate in the school setting and will not occur in the future
  • A suspension without pay for (3) days. The teacher served the suspension in early January 2018
  • A requirement that as a condition of employment, the teacher complete numerous training courses on ethics and communication
  • A referral to the Ohio Department of Education Office of Professional Conduct

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."

The suspension was without pay for three days.

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