Forty-eight-year-old Casey Smitherman is the former superintendent of Elwood Community School Corporation in Elwood, Indiana. She was arrested last month for reportedly using her son’s insurance card to help get one of her students’ medical care. She was charged with insurance fraud and asked to step down from her position as superintendent, according to NBC News. She has also agreed to a diversion program where the charges will be dropped from her record in a year if she is not arrested for a second time.
On January 9, a 15-year-old student in the school district missed school due to a sore throat. Having been familiar with the student’s home life situation, Smitherman became worried that he was not being given proper care by his guardian. She went to his house and drove him to a nearby emergency care center for him to be examined. The superintendent worried that if she did not assist the student in getting the medical care he needed, he would continue to get more ill. She used her son’s insurance card at the emergency care center, passing it off as the student’s. She later stopped by a CVS pharmacy where she picked up a prescription for the boy, also under her son’s name.
The Elwood County Police Department stated that they received a tip that informed them of Smitherman’s wrongdoing. Meanwhile, people across the nation have spoken out in support of Smitherman, who they believe was simply doing everything in her power to protect the child’s well-being.
What we know: Indiana superintendent charged with fraud after helping sick student https://t.co/EutAXMWmDS
— IndyStar (@indystar) January 24, 2019
“The child was very sick and she was just trying to get him medicine. She knew it was probably a mistake. But at the same time, she really didn’t know what else to do,” said her lawyer, Bryan Williams.
It wasn’t the first time that the superintendent had gone above and beyond the call of duty to help care for this particular student. In the past she had also assisted him by buying him clothes and cleaning his house. While she acknowledges that she made a mistake, Smitherman hopes that all the positive work she has done for the school system throughout the years is not overlooked because of it. She also issued a statement apologizing for her wrongdoing.
“I am very embarrassed for that, and I apologize to the board, the community and the teachers and students of Elwood Community Schools. I sincerely hope this single lapse in judgment does not tarnish all of the good work I’ve done for students over the span of my career.”