WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Students at two Worcester high schools are crying foul over a new policy that bars them from wearing hoodies.

The Telegram & Gazette (http://bit.ly/1MNpMCi ) reports that the policy was announced just a couple days before the school year began at Burncoat High School and South High Community School.

The district's school safety liaison says the ban is part of efforts to prevent youth violence. He says there was a reported connection between hooded sweatshirts and gang culture.

There were also concerns that students could hide weapons in the large front pocket on most hoodies.

Students at both schools put together a petition, calling on administrators to get rid of the rule.

A school committee member says it may be time for the panel to take up the issue.

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Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com