New Jersey police arrested a 29-year-old woman after she posed as a high school student and attended classes for four days.
Officials charged the woman, identified as Hyejeong Shin, with providing a false government document, according to New Brunswick Today. Shin enrolled in New Brunswick High School using a fake birth certificate during the week of Jan. 16.
However, it’s unclear if she first arrived at the school alone. But, the 29-year-old reportedly raised suspicions after claiming to be a 15-year-old, but the district couldn’t confirm the identity of her parent or guardian.
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As authorities questioned Shin on her fourth day, she allegedly asked to sign herself out of school, per New Brunswick Today. But, authorities denied her request because they were under the impression that she was a minor. That’s when she revealed she was 29.
According to CBS New York, Shin attended a few classes and made text attempts to ‘hang out’ with a few students outside of school.
At this time, police haven’t revealed Shin’s motives for posing as a high school student. However, parents, students, and community members are concerned Shin was attempting to lure students into sex work or trafficking.
Superintendent Says Enrollment Process Will Be Reviewed After Woman Posed As A HS Student
School officials addressed Hyejeong Shin’s enrollment at a Board of Education meeting on Jan. 24. Superintendent Dr. Aubrey Johnson called the incident “unfortunate.” He said Shin has been “barred from entering the district property.” Students who met or interacted with Shin were told to cease all communication–remotely and in person. The parents of those students were also informed of the incident.
Additionally, Dr. Johnson revealed the Board of Education plans to review the schools’ enrollment process.
“We’re going to take a look at our process as well, in terms of how to better look for fake documentation and other things.”
Breaking news: An adult woman was arrested after posing as a child and providing fake documents to enroll in New Brunswick High School last week, @aubjohnson111 announced tonight.
She attended the school for four days and community members are concerned about her motives. pic.twitter.com/BLOwgFeyss
— Charlie Kratovil (@Charlie4Change) January 25, 2023
In a statement obtained by NBC 10 Philadelphia, Dr. Johnson said the district was following its enrollment policies.
“A student requesting admission without being able to prove their identity must be provisionally admitted to the school. From that point, the student has 30 days to provide information that confirms their identity or the school district will have the option of declaring them ineligible to attend classes.”