MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Public School system is re-evaluating how they discipline children after some alarming numbers is getting the district some negative attention.

Records show minority students and those with special needs are getting harsher punishments than white students.

Last year, black students were suspended at a rate more than five times that of white students.

Now the district says resorting to suspensions can be prevented.

They’ll try switching classrooms or giving students alone time with staff members to cool off.

“We are trying to catch behavior on the front end,” said Stan Alleyne, of Minneapolis Public Schools. “You don’t know what’s going on in their lives, if they had enough sleep at night, have they had enough food?”

Changes to how they handle behavioral problems will start in August 2014, giving teachers and administrators time to adjust.