Syracuse schools, state reach discipline agreement

By The Associated Press

The Syracuse School District is agreeing to cut down on the number of suspensions after its disciplinary practices caught the attention of the state attorney general's office.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his civil rights bureau found that the district suspended 30 percent of its students during the 2012-13 school year, and that black students were suspended at twice the rate of white students. The review also found that students with disabilities were often wrongly punished for behavior directly related to their disability.

On Thursday, Schneiderman and Superintendent Sharon Contreras announced an agreement that includes amending the district Code of Conduct to emphasize discipline other than suspension.

State Education Commissioner John King says the previous system was deeply harmful and that Thursday's agreement sets a precedent for other districts.

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