U of Michigan says safety paramount in possible Spencer talk

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ALEXANDRIA, VA - AUGUST 14: White nationalist Richard Spencer speaks to select media in his office space on August 14, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia. Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute and self-described creator of the term "alt-right," announced his intention to speak at rallies at Texas A&M University and the University of Florida in September. Spencer attended this past weekend's violent protests at the University of Virginia that left at least three people dead and dozens injured. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel says the school has opened discussions with white supremacist Richard Spencer on his request to speak on campus but says there’s no certainty it’ll occur.

The university posted Schlissel’s comments to the community online Tuesday night in which he says Spencer’s appearance won’t go forward “if we cannot assure a reasonably safe setting for the event.” Schlissel also spoke at a Tuesday night meeting of the university’s Board of Regents.

Schlissel says as a public university, the law and its “commitment to free speech forbid us from declining a speaker based on the presumed content of speech.”

A date for Spencer’s appearance has not been set.

Spencer participated in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to deadly violence in August.

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