College president fired for helping homeless

LIBERTY, Mo. (CNN) – A St. Louis college president is out of a job after he allowed a homeless student shelter in the library.

“I just didn’t want to take the chance. They were calling for minus two degrees that night,” Brian Carroll said.

They say no good deed goes unpunished.

“We had snow and ice.”

Carroll says his time as campus president at Vatterott College ended on January 9th when he was fired.

Carroll was locking up for the weekend on Friday, January 6th, when he heard one of his student’s voices in the hallway.

It was a 30-year-old male student and Carroll knew him to be schizophrenic and homeless.

“What could I have done? He can’t stay on campus. I can’t put him in my car. I can’t take him to my house.”

Carroll says the student had run out of his medication — and he’d been sleeping in a wooded area outside the school — in all kinds of weather.

“You have to make a judgment call.”

Carroll agreed to allow the student to sleep in Vatterott’s library for the night.

Carroll says the student didn’t steal or damage anything — but when Vatterott’s corporate team in Saint Louis found out — it cost Carroll his job.

“I thought I was choosing between life, I’m not from here. I’m from Southern California. And I’m not sure if I could live in the woods at minus two degrees.”

Carroll 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 knows he took a risk but he chose to protect a student’s safety.

“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 says it came down to money — and Vatterott officials fired him for putting their equipment and building at risk.

“My first reaction was, shouldn’t you just write me up for this? And they said no.”

A spokesperson for Vatterott College said the school’s policy is not to comment on personnel matters.

As for Carroll, he said he still stands by the choice he made.

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