MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Medical, dental and nursing students who attend the University of Tennessee have walked out of class to show support for the removal of a statue of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest from a park next to the school.

Dozens of students who attend the University of Tennessee's Health Sciences school in Memphis rallied around the statue of Forrest on Friday.

Rally organizer and student doctor Bryan Goodman says the statue of Forrest, an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, represents hate and pain. The monument has been the subject of protests since a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent last weekend.

The City Council has voted to relocate the Forrest statue, but the Tennessee Historical Commission blocked the move under a law that bars removing or disturbing war memorials on public property.