Senate approves diversity defunding, UT students walk out of class in protest

Published: Apr. 19, 2016 at 2:17 PM EDT
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A Tennessee Senate committee voted to defund the UT Office of Diversity and Inclusion on Tuesday afternoon. The tax payer money that went to the diversity office will now be rerouted to the art school at UT to print out decals for law enforcement.

You can watch the debate that happened on the Senate floor in the video below. The debate starts at about 1:28:00

Students at the University of Tennessee walked out of class in protest.

The students chanted, "I can hear my Vols crying, 'I can't breathe.' I'm on Rocky Top and I can't leave. Taking diversity from my UT."

Then they marched through campus.

House Bill 2248 was passed on Monday and prohibits state funds from being used to support the office for diversity and inclusion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The measure also effectively diverts that funding to a program for placing decals of the national motto on local and state law enforcement vehicles.

The diversity office received negative attention after an article was posted on its website about using gender pronouns. Later, another article came under scrutiny that directed staff on how to handle holiday parties.