School & District Management

Indiana Superintendent Who Used Her Insurance to Help Sick Student Get Treatment Resigns

By Denisa R. Superville — February 04, 2019 1 min read

The Indiana superintendent who used her insurance to get treatment for a sick student has resigned, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Casey Smitherman, who led the 1,500-student Elwood Community School District, about 50 miles from Indianapolis, garnered national attention late last month after she was arrested and charged in connection to the incident.

Smitherman said she became concerned on Jan. 9 when a 15-year-old student didn’t show up to school, the paper reported. When she visited the student at home, she noticed that he was showing symptoms of strep throat and she took him to a clinic to get medical treatment, according to a statement she released after her arrest and posted on Fox 59.

The student was denied treatment at the first clinic, and at a second emergency treatment center Smitherman said the student was her son. She used her son’s insurance card to get the student treatment and cover his medication, the Indy Star reported.

Smitherman was arrested and charged with three felonies and insurance fraud.

Smitherman had apologized after her arrest, but she said that she was only thinking about the child’s wellbeing at the time.

The newspaper reported that Smitherman’s resignation was effective on Friday.

“I am very embarrassed for that, and I apologize to the board, the community and the teachers and students of Elwood Community Schools,” she said, according to the paper. “I sincerely hope this single lapse in judgement does not tarnish all of the good work I’ve done for students over the span of my career.”

“I am confident the board will take the necessary steps to ensure the school system works through this period of change in the best possible way,” the statement said.

The county prosecutor has offered Smitherman entry into a diversion program that would allow her to avoid a criminal conviction if she does not get arrested within a year, the paper said.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.