CHARDON, Ohio -- 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 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.