Tennessee Board of Regents reconsiders honors for Freedom Riders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Board of Regents has changed its decision to deny honorary degrees to 14 Tennessee State University students who were expelled for participating in Freedom Rides of the 1960s civil rights movement.

The board voted unanimously on Friday to change its March vote, which brought criticism from civil rights activists.

Board members who opposed the idea at the time explained their decision by saying honorary degrees are meant to recognize a lifetime of achievement, not a one-time action.

Members did not give reasons for the change.

The Freedom Rides were bus trips designed to challenge segregation in areas of the deep South that were unwilling to accept a Supreme Court order integrating interstate travel facilities.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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