By MARIA DANILOVA
Associated Press

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (AP) - As classes begin in colleges and universities across their country, parents are wondering if campuses are safe following last week's violent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Meanwhile, school administrators are grappling with the difficult question of how to balance students' physical safety with free speech.

At the University of Virginia, President Teresa Sullivan welcomed "every person of every race, every gender, every national origin, every religious belief, every orientation and every other human variation."

Afterward, anxious parents asked university administrators tough questions about the gun policy on campus, white supremacists and the likelihood of similar violence in the future.

In an interview, Sullivan said the university is revamping its emergency protocols, increasing the number of security officers patrolling the grounds and hiring an outside higher education safety consultant.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.