LYNN, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts charter school has banned students from wearing do-rags, headgear students argue is part of their culture.

Seventeen-year-old Gisnael Silva, a junior at KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate, tells the Daily Item he and other students of color have faced suspensions or have been removed from class for refusing to take off their do-rags this week.

Dean of Students and Culture Shauna-Kaye Clarke sent an email about the ban to students Sunday, saying the headgear is reflective of gang culture.

Silva argues do-rags are instead used to maintain certain hairstyles such as dreadlocks and waves.

Students will meet with faculty Friday to suggest changes to the dress code.

Caleb Dolan, the school's executive director, says they are excited to see students advocate effectively for change.

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Information from: The (Lynn, Mass.) Daily Item, http://itemlive.com