A Kansas City college campus president’s act of kindness came with a heavy price. Brian Carroll, campus president at Vatterott College, was fired after he allowed a homeless student to sleep overnight in the school’s library.
The student, who was offered shelter from cold weather, is homeless and schizophrenic. Carroll was fired the next day after the incident took place.
The overnight temperatures outside the college hit -4 degrees. The student had been sleeping in a wooded area near the school, but temperatures were too harsh and the student had nowhere to seek warmth.
While explaining his stance, Carroll said, “I just didn’t want to take the chance. We had ice and snow. I had a tough choice to make. He can’t stay on campus. I can’t put him in my car. I can’t take him to my house.”
“I made a choice. I was choosing between lives, I’m not here. I’m from Southern California. I’m not sure if I could live in the woods at -2 degrees,” added Carroll.
He further says that Vatterott officials fired him for putting their equipment and building at risk.
"I don't know of a direct written policy that says you can't keep someone overnight. There's a policy that says I must protect the assets. I did," he said.
“My first reaction was, shouldn't you just write me up for this? Their answer was no," he added.
Carroll explained that the student, who ran out of medication, was allowed to bed down in the school’s library. He didn’t steal or damage anything. He says he and others around the campus had been trying to help the student find subsidized housing.
Carroll has worked in education for 35 years, and says he knows he took a risk, but he chose to protect a student's safety. He says he hasn't heard from the student in question, but in future if a similar situation arises, he will make the same choice again.
Twitter users reacted to the college’s “harsh” step and supported Carroll for his good deed:
Brian Carroll potentially saved the life of one of his students, and his reward from @vatterottED is termination. Good PR move Vatterott!— Pierre Brassau (@Pierre__Brassau) January 17, 2017
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters