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.
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.
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.