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Syracuse school district says they're making progress on student discipline

Ryan Delaney
Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)

The Syracuse school district says it's already working to improve discipline with the city's public schools as the state attorney general investigates its practices.

The attorney general's offices launched an investigation in December into potentially overly harsh punishment of minority and disabled students in the Syracuse school system,

A draft of the report was finished last week and, according The Post-Standard, which obtained a copy, the district has one of the highest rates of suspension in the nation. More than half of the city's minority students have been suspended at least once.  

The attorney general's office declined to comment.

In a joint statement, Superintendent Sharon Contreras and Board of Education vice president Bill Bollen say they're working with the attorney general to find a resolution.

We are continuing to fully cooperate and work with the Attorney General on a final resolution to their investigation. We are in receipt of the draft agreement and will be in a position to provide more information once the document is finalized. Prior to receiving this document from the Office of the Attorney General, the District put into place numerous initiatives to address student behavior and suspensions. We believe we are making progress, and are dedicated to working together with the Attorney General to promote the safety, dignity and respect for all students, teachers and staff.

The district has also hired an outside expert to overhauls its disciplinary practices.