An Indiana school superintendent was charged and arrested for using her own health insurance to help a poor student who missed school because he fell ill.

WTKR reports, Elwood Community Schools Superintendent Casey D. Smitherman turned herself in under a warrant.

On January 9, she noticed a 15-year-old student had been absent from school and went to check his home and discovered the boy had been suffering from strep throat.

Smitherman used her Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance to help the sick student who didn’t have insurance of his own to receive medical care. The educator has previously bought food and clothes for the same student and helped to clean his home.

In a statement, the teacher explained that at the moment, she was only concerned for the boy’s health.

She explained:

I was given notice one of our students was not at school. I went to his home to check on him, and he told me that he had not felt well enough to come to school. After making sure he had eaten, I could tell he had some of the symptoms of strep throat.

As a parent, I know how serious this illness can be if left untreated, and I took him to an emergency clinic.

Smitherman took the teen in for treatment and signed the student in under her son’s name. She also had an Amoxicillin prescription filled under the same name and someone tipped off police. The teacher wrote:

After one clinic refused to give the boy necessary treatment, I took him to a different clinic and told them he was my son. I knew he did not have insurance, and I wanted to do all I could to help him get well.

According to the affidavit, Smitherman didn’t contact the Department of Child Services because she feared the youth would be placed in foster care.

The Herald Bulletin reports, the insurance claim was $233.

WTKR

Smitherman was charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor, including insurance fraud, official misconduct, insurance application fraud, and identity deception.

The superintendent said her compassion and maternal instincts kicked in, the school board apologized on her behalf for breaking any laws.

Watch the video below:

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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26 Replies to “Teacher Arrested for Using Her Own Insurance to Help a Sick Student Get Medical Care for Strep Throat”

  • Aric 8 months ago

    IF there ever was a time for a GoFundMe account for this kind and generous woman, it’s Now.

  • Anonymous 8 months ago

    He was sick. What was she supposed to do? Why would any one deny this minor medical care? medical care should never be denied to anyone yet it is quite common in this country. it’s all about the mighty dollar! The charges should be dismissed. She did what any other person would and should have done.

    • Anonymous 8 months ago

      I was denied 5 times when I was in my second trimester and tried to go to a clinic. Now they are charging me with medical neglect and have my baby. I didn’t have insurance. I made to much for Medicaid and not enough for any other insurance. So I was uninsured and trying go to a clinic and still denied treatment. It’s the same way with your children to. If you don’t have insurance and can’t lay cash up front you will not get treatment unless you go to the ER for thousands of dollars per visit.

  • Anonymous 8 months ago

    What she did was wrong but she did it for the right reasons! Compassion & mercy count a lot in this day & time!

  • Anonymous 8 months ago

    So what she did is fraud, but the government can take my money and give free healthcare to whom ever they deem fit…..including illegal aliens?

    • Anonymous 8 months ago

      Amen, our government has their priorities misplaced. If it was an illegal alien they would have bent over backwards to treat the kid but an American citizen they couldn’t care less about!

      • Robert Miles 8 months ago

        Looks like you haven’t read about the two illegal alien kids that died shortly after they entered the US and got no medical treatment while they were detained until their problems were so obvious that it was too late to save them.

    • Anonymous 8 months ago

      That’s for sure!

  • Kat 8 months ago

    She was just trying to help a sick child get better so he could get back in school she did nothing wrong at all

    • Anonymous 8 months ago

      It’s insurance fraud. Her heart was in the right place, but you can’t break the law doing it.

  • Anonymous 8 months ago

    I was denied 5 times when I was in my second trimester and tried to go to a clinic. Now they are charging me with medical neglect and have my baby. I didn’t have insurance. I made to much for Medicaid and not enough for any other insurance. So I was uninsured and trying go to a clinic and still denied treatment. It’s the same way with your children to. If you don’t have insurance and can’t pay cash up front you will not get treatment unless you go to the ER for thousands of dollars per visit.

  • carol l ennis 8 months ago

    DO GOOD YOU GET PUNISHED …BE A CRIMINAL YOU GET HOUSED MEALS A GYM AND TV..SOMETHING WRONG HERE

  • Anonymous 8 months ago

    As a Superintendent her salary more than covers a $233 fee to help out a student. She could have paid & asked the school board to reimburse. Even if denied I doubt it would sendchercto the food pantry. No way should she have used her sons name.

    • kim 8 months ago

      the insurance claim was $233 but what was the bill before the insurance credit (cuz insurance companies negotiate lower rates than if you go in w/o any insurance)? probably upwards of $1000 or more (with the drugs).

      • Anonymous 8 months ago

        That’s true. Could have even been up to several thousand dollars.

    • Anonymous 8 months ago

      I’m guessing you personally wouldn’t have helped out. As someone has stated, the $233 is probably after insurance had paid.

  • Monica 8 months ago

    Starts a go fund me, compassionate teachers unite !!!!

  • Anonymous 8 months ago

    It’s an unspoken rule for teachers that you help your student on a united front with other teachers, but in no way should you get involved personally one on one.

  • Kathie Macdougal 8 months ago

    It only cost about $100 to go to a urgent care. I know that can be expensive but it’s better than insurance fraud. Kudos for trying to help though.

    • Anonymous 8 months ago

      That depends on where you are. Here an urgent care is a minimum of $330. Without prescriptions. That’s just to be seen. I understand why she did it and applaud her. However, paying out of pocket would have saved this trouble.

  • Anonymous 8 months ago

    I don’t think she should have suffered all those penalties from the government AND also the school. We need more superintendents like her to run our schools. Most people these days do it for the money. She actually exhibits compassion for the kids she supervises. Our schools need more people like her!!!! I hope she finds another position quickly!!!

  • Jordan 8 months ago

    I would definitely want a superintendent just like her who is compassionate and caring for her students. She did the first thing that came to her mind to help this child. More people need to be like this. Yes she could of just paid for it then started a gofundme page BUT she didn’t have time to wait this was an urgent matter and shouldn’t have been left untreated. And to the person who tipped off the police, your pathetic you probably received a payment to turn her in. Mind your own business, she was doing what any superintendent should have in this situation. You have to think quick and I’m sure she has no regrets neither would I if I was in her shoes. Too many parents won’t even take the kids to doctors or er fearing footing the bill so they are neglected. The parent should have faced some charges for neglect where were they and why was the house needing cleaned up and the student needing clothes? I’m sorry but I just went thru this with my child she lost her Medicaid bc I make $100 over the limit for a single family and was due to have mouth surgery which she needs done. She was refused by the hospital due to not having Medicaid showing inactive. So I figured it out real quick to get her insurance put kids before yourself that’s what’s wrong with the world today it’s my generations parents. They are more worried about drugs then the needs of their children. Free this teacher for doing the right thing! I stand behind her on this one!

  • Blu3 ros3 8 months ago

    Good for this teacher for having compation n not worrying about the consequences. Putting that child’s needs above all. She should get a metal not jail time.

  • Dawn Carmona 8 months ago

    I understand what she did was wrong She should have just pd for his visit.I guess when u c a youngster sick Ur maternal instincts turn on & she most diffinately made wrong decision.I hope his Family & The Courts understand & just have her pay The bill & Court costs.She had no ill will for this boy. She had nothing but good intentions. Good Luck.I hope all works out for both Families! P.S I truly hope she doesn’t lose her job.

  • Will help 8 months ago

    I think it was compassionate, but regardless with charges dropped they’re not going to allow her around children again…..I would be surprise if she can be a superintendent gain…

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Teacher Arrested for Using Her Own Insurance to Help a Sick Student Get Medical Care for Strep Throat

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