War on the Poor Continues: College President Fired for Helping Homeless Student



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File this one under “No good deed goes unpunished”…

Brian Carroll, campus president at Vatterott College in Kansas City, committed the unthinkable: He dared to help a student who is homeless and schizophrenic find a warm place to sleep.

Carroll, who was president of the trade school for five years, says one of his students had no place to go.

On Friday, January 6th, he allowed that student to sleep overnight in the school’s library.

His reward for that kind deed? On Monday, January 9th, he was fired.

Carroll said he knew the student was homeless, off medications he needed, lacked transportation, and would be sleeping outside in near-zero temperatures. The student had been sleeping in a wooded area near the school.

“I was thinking this is a life-threatening situation for the student,” Carroll told The Kansas City Star.

Carroll told Fox4KC his options were limited:

“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.”

Paul Ferrise, Vatterott’s regional vice president, said that Carroll had made a “bad decision” in allowing the student to stay overnight on school property. He said that Carroll could have helped the student get to a shelter:

“Mr. Carroll had a range of options available to him to help the student. He made a bad decision.”

But Carroll disputes that claim. He said school policy prohibited him from using his own car to provide a ride for the student. And Vatterott’s recruiting officer on campus said the student could be trusted to do what he said, so Carroll gave the student $10 with an agreement:

“He agreed that he would leave at 9 a.m. the next morning, and that he would get a bus and go down to get his medication. And he did, and he was back in class,” Carroll said.

Carroll is quite surprised that he lost his job, and feels a written reprimand would have been more appropriate, if punishment was necessary.

He said he and others around campus had been trying to help the student find housing. Carroll has worked in education for 35 years, and said he knew he took a risk, but choosing to protect a student was the right decision:

“I made a choice. I was choosing between life — I’m not from here. I’m from Southern California. I’m not sure if I could live in the woods at minus two degrees.

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,” Carroll said.

Call me crazy, but I just don’t understand why an educational institution would fire a seemingly kind-hearted president who simply wanted to help a student SURVIVE an exceptionally cold night.

It seems to me that Carroll should not only have been able to keep his job, but should have been commended for extending the bit of help that he could offer to someone in desperate need.

In this video, Carroll shares his story.

In the US, the homeless are ignored, abused and treated like criminals. Shelters are often fined and closed down, blankets and food are seized by police, and tent cities are demolished as their destitute residents watch. When compassionate citizens dare to offer assistance, they are often met with aggression from the State. In many cities across the country, it is illegal to feed the homeless, In others, you’ll be slapped with fines for doing so, or will be required to spend hundreds of dollars on permits if you want to feed the hungry.

To quote Joshua Krause:

As they say, you can always judge a society by how they treat their weakest members. So I shudder to think of how future generations will judge our society. We’ve become a nation that discards our poor like they are trash, and anyone who doesn’t “fit in” is segregated from the herd.

Aren’t we all supposed to be in this together?

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – Emma Lazarus, from the Statue of Liberty plaque

So much for that.

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