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Kudos to a Superintendent For Her Felony

Jan 28, 2019 by

Earlier this month, an Indiana school superintendent knowingly committed three felonies and a misdemeanor by acting in the sincere and rational belief that by doing so she was protecting the the health of a student who appeared to be in immediate need of medical treatment and would otherwise have likely not received it.  Should she be condemned or congratulated? 

The superintendent, who impressively appears to be something much more than a gloried paper-pusher, was arrested for pretending that she was the student’s mother and taking him to a clinic where he was prescribed antibiotics. This deliberate misrepresentation of their relationship amounted to fraud, a violation of privacy law, and offenses against the clinic, the pharmacy and insurance carriers. She was also accused of “official misconduct”.

The student’s guardian, about whom little was disclosed in press reports, alerted the police who indicated that the student’s removal of the label from the medicine vial was evidence that he knew that what he was doing was wrong. The superintendent made no attempt to conceal or deny what she had done.  She defended herself without being defensive and though unapologetic, was not brazen.  She acted upon conviction and submitted herself to the consequences without self-pity or regret.In the past, the superintendent and her husband had purchased clothing for the student and helped clean his house for fear that the Department of Child Services, aware of his situation, would place the child in foster care.

If she is not re-arrested within a year, police charges against the superintendent will be dropped.  The school board, apparently moved by her righteous motives, were moved to strongly endorse her continuation in her position.

This excellent outcome is rare as a blood moon.  It happened in Indiana, where former Governor Mike Pence did all in his power to make educators who showed any initiative tremble for their livelihoods, but then again this story is about individuals, not so much systems.

Suppose it had happened in New York City: is it likely that in our more progressive environment the wisdom of the disposition would have been guaranteed?  Based on the policies enacted by successive chancellors, from the venal Klein to the present more enlightened Carranza, if the professional finding this bold and creative solution had been a classroom teacher, the DOE would still seek to have their license terminated.
Still, it’s gratifying to hear of even sporadic, far-flung incidents of humanity in an educational bureaucracy stateside.

Ron Isaac



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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Sidney

    What happens to this student, whose parent clearly doesn’t care, when he finally is in the foster care program? Is there no other solution possible. Perhaps the superintendent & her spouse coul adopt this child because of this clearly recurring problrm

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