PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A viral Change.org petition is trying to lift the ban of braids, locks and twists at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, saying the ban is racially biased.

A Change.org petition that began Tuesday was started by a sophomore at Central Catholic High School.

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JD Younger says the school’s hair policy unfairly targets the black students so he started the petition, which went viral.

As of Thursday, there were nearly 8,800 signatures, with the numbers rising by the minute.

Part of the student handbook says: “Hair must be its natural color, clean, neatly combed…shaved heads or hairstyles with designs, patterns, lines, weaves, spikes, braids, locks, twists or ponytails are not permitted.”

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On the petition’s page, one signer says, “This is directly towards the black students of Central and it needs to go.”

According to a Change.org press release, Central Catholic’s principal released a statement, saying:

“Our Student / Parent handbook covers a wide range of policies and procedures. As a private, Diocesan high school, Central Catholic enforces a dress code, which includes policies on hairstyles and facial hair. Students and parents agree to abide by these policies when their son is enrolled at Central Catholic, and they sign a Memorandum of Understanding at the beginning of each school year. The dress-code requirements are all-encompassing, and are not intended to single out any one individual.”

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