Society

College President Says He Was Fired For Helping Student

| by Michael Doherty

The campus president at Vatterott College in Missouri has reportedly been fired after he says he allowed a homeless student to sleep in the school's library during a night of freezing weather.

Brian Carroll, the former campus president at Vatterott's campus in Kansas City, Missouri, said he was terminated a few days after he allowed a homeless, mentally ill student to sleep overnight in the college's library, reports WDAF.

The student in question has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had run out of his medication. He had reportedly been sleeping in the woods near the campus. Carroll said that conditions on Jan. 6, the night that he let the student stay in the library, were potentially "life threatening," with temperatures as low as minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit.

"I just didn't want to take the chance," said the former president. "We had ice and snow."

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"I had a tough choice to make," Carroll added. "He can't stay on campus. I can't put him in my car. I can't take him to my house."

"So I was like here, here’s $10," he said, reports KMBC. "Promise me that at 9 a.m. on Saturday you’ll be out of here on the bus and get your medicine. He did."

"I took a risk. I took a chance," said Carroll. "But I thought favoring a life, a potential life-threatening situation over what would he do to the library. I took a chance ... It was supposed to be minus 2 that night."

The school's corporate leaders reportedly didn't see the situation the same way. The school reportedly believed that allowing the student to sleep in the library presented a risk of damage to the building, Carroll said.

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While the student did not steal or damage anything inside the building, Vatterott's management team found out about the incident through surveillance video.

Carroll said that in retrospect, he believes he should have paid for a hotel room for the student out of pocket, but said that given the chance to decide again, he would still have made the decision to help the student.

Former Vatterott student and employee Chelsea Jones said Carroll always put students first during his time at the college.

"They are just completely trying to sweep the whole incident under the rug at this point," said Jones of the school. "To hear it happen because of something that could have actually been a life or death situation with all the bad weather we had -- it was just shocking to me."

Julie Bishop-Cross, a representative for the college, said the school's policy is to not comment about matters of personnel.

A resource officer at Vatterott is reportedly searching for housing for the student who stayed in the library.

Carroll said he is considering moving, and intends to start teaching again.

"I lived here," said Carroll. "This was technically my home, so this hurts."

Sources: KADF, KMBC / Photo credit: KAKE via Instagram

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