How far would you go to help one of your students? Would you be willing to break the law? That’s a question that a lot of people are asking themselves after hearing the latest story making waves in education circles.

An Indiana superintendent is accused of passing a sick student off as her son to get him medicine. Casey Smitherman, the superintendent of Elwood Community School Corporation, has been charged with insurance fraud, identity deception, insurance application fraud, and official misconduct because of her attempt to help a student.

From what can be pieced together from reports:

  • Smitherman told the police that she checked in on a student when he didn’t show up to school and noticed he was sick with a sore throat.
  • She attempted to take the boy to an urgent care facility but was denied as she was not the legal guardian of the student. This is what led to a tip to the Elwood Police.
  • After being denied at the first urgent care facility, she then took the student to St. Vincent Med and used her insurance to have him looked at using her son’s name.
  • She then had a prescription filled at CVS for Amoxicillin using her insurance, again passing the student off as her son.

This is a thought-provoking situation. Did the superintendent do the right thing or should she be held accountable for breaking the law? Or both?

On one hand, it’s definitely a good that a superintendent cares this much about her students. If the student truly needed help, it’s nice to know that there are people in his life that will do what it takes to get it to him.

On the other hand, impersonating the parent or guardian of a student is a serious offense. Medicine for a strep throat might not be that serious, but obviously, schools should seek to avoid teachers and administrators deciding to fill prescriptions for students.

What do you think? Should the superintendent be applauded or condemned?


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