Trade school fires president after he gave homeless student shelter in library during sub-zero weather

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- He was only trying to be kind to a homeless man.

That, according to the former campus president of a Kansas City trade school, is what led to him being fired, while offering a homeless man shelter from cold weather.

Brian Carroll, campus president at Vatterott College in Kansas City for five years, says one of his students had no place to go. On Friday, January 6th, he allowed a student, who is homeless and schizophrenic, to sleep overnight in the school's library. The school fired him on Monday, January 9th, the next business day.

"Education is a beautiful thing to me," Carroll told FOX 4 News. "But sometimes, it gets destroyed in the process."

The recorded overnight temperatures outside Vatterott College on January 6th hit four degrees below zero. Carroll says that student had been sleeping in a wooded area near the school, but temperatures were too harsh that night, and the student had nowhere to seek warmth.

"I just didn't want to take the chance," Carroll said. "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."

Carroll says the student had run out of his medication. He allowed the student to bed down in the school's library, and even though the student didn't steal or damage anything, Carroll was fired once the school's corporate leaders found out. The building has a series of surveillance cameras that can be viewed via remote, which is how Vatterott's Saint Louis-based management team found out.

"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," Carroll said.

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 he 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 said.

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? Their answer was no," Carroll said on Monday.

Vatterott College's spokesperson, Julie Bishop-Cross, told FOX 4 News the school's policy is not to comment on personnel matters. Carroll says he hasn't heard from the student in question, but he'd make the same choice again.


  • Stove

    I guess it is not good to show compassion to our fellow man. Thank you sir for providing shelter for this young man.


    It doesn’t seem like the worst thing a person could do but why couldn’t he have taken him home, or allowed him to stay in his car, or possibly take him to a Shelter for the night? Even the smallest of Municipalities find shelter for the Homeless.

  • Mel b

    The shelters were probably full due to the bad weather. His family may not have allowed him to let him stay in their home. His car would still have been 2 below. Too many homeless and not enough options

  • Nick

    I worked for a technical college. When department heads were caught stealing (major money) or were involved in inappropriate relationships (one was even caught with child porn), they were allowed to resign so that it would be easy for them to find another job. This man shows compassion, and is fired. What a shame. This was an opportunity for the school to take action and address an issue that is plaguing many college students all over.

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