The Penalty for Caring

So Kate’s fine after yesterday. She usually is. This time, the seizure wasn’t as bad as it was looking when I bailed on the post. So now, I’m going to ramble about something I saw on Twitter.

Basically, the president of this college found a homeless student with schizophrenia living in the forest. He can’t take the kid home (giving the kid a ride is apparently against company policy or something), and he couldn’t think of anything else to do. So he let the kid sleep in the library and gave him some money to refill his schizophrenia meds. And for that, he was fired.

On the one hand, this seems like a pretty clear case of the homeless prejudice most people seem to have. “Oh, circumstances beyond your control have left you without shelter, food, or options? Well, fuck you! You should have tried harder!” There are no extenuating circumstances for this student. It doesn’t matter that he could have died from exposure out in the woods. He’s not allowed to sleep in a nice, warm library, and President Carroll has to pay the price for allowing it.

On the other hand, there are other options here. Carroll gives the student money. He couldn’t have paid for a motel room? Help the student arrange for alternate housing? I mean, it’s a for-profit college, so there’s probably no dorm system. But they could have looked at shelters or called acquaintances until they found a couch for him to sleep on.

I guess…I don’t really have a lot of insight here. Something important happened. A man was penalized for caring about another human being. Even if he didn’t go about it the best way, I don’t think he deserved to lose his job.


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