File - In this March 2, 2017, file photo, Middlebury College students turn their backs to author Charles Murray during his lecture in Middlebury, Vt. A(AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)
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Fearing a return to violent protests that roiled campuses in the 1970s, colleges and universities are re-examining how to protect free speech while keeping students and employees safe in a time of political polarization. Campus police are trying new tactics to try to keep events peaceful, while other schools have abruptly canceled controversial speakers over safety concerns, as UC Berkeley did with conservative writer Ann Coulter's appearance, originally scheduled for Thursday.In response to earlier rioting at Berkeley, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators last month put on daylong protest preparation and response training sessions at Chapman University in Orange, California, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and the University of Maryland, attended by law enforcement from about 40 colleges and universities. Middlebury said last week that 70 people may be subject to discipline, and that more than 30 students so far had been punished, but officials did not elaborate.Texas A&M University has begun requiring that speakers be sponsored by a student, faculty or staff organization after a former student arranged a speech by Spencer in December.About 20 more people, including seven students, were possibly involved, school spokesman Dan Mogulof said.
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