Every once in a while you’ll come across old laws that are still officially on the books but should’ve been revised eons ago. The latest instance of this playing out involved a black elementary school student that can’t go back to his school because of his race and outdated laws.

Edmund Lee is an A-level student at St. Louis’ Gateway Science Academy, a charter school he’s attended ever since kindergarten, according to Salon. Lee and his mother, La’Shieka White, are moving to a St. Louis suburb. Since they won’t be living in the actual city, White reached out to see what she had to do to make sure Lee could continue his education.

White was then given a copy of the school’s guidelines and told that Lee could only return if he didn’t identify as black, according to Fox News. This shocking law is the result of a 1980 U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that declared that black students who don’t live in the city of St. Louis can’t attend schools there.

The law was presumably an attempt at aiding integration in the area and making sure that suburban schools were bringing in students from the growing local black population instead of those who lived further away. While that may or may not have been the case, the law is no longer needed and is far more of an obstacle than it is an asset more than 35 years after it’s creation.

The school has stood in support of White, who created a Change.org petition that now has more than 58,000 signatures.

“To not see his face in the halls next year would be extremely sad,” Tiffany Luis, Lee’s third grade teacher, told local media. “The family is saying they want to stay. I don’t understand why they can’t.”

Photo Credit: Change.org