Adult woman arrested after enrolling as student at New Jersey high school

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A grown woman has been arrested after pretending to be a teenager to attend classes at New Brunswick High School in New Jersey.

Last week, the woman attempted to register using false documents and attended class for four days before being expelled, Superintendent Aubrey Johnson told the Board of Education, according to New BrunswickToday.

“By filing false documents, a grown woman posing as a student was able to be enrolled in our high school,” the superintendent said at a Jan. 24 board meeting.

“She stayed here for four days before she was discovered and banned from entering district property,” he said. “All relevant authorities were immediately informed and the individual in question has now been arrested for providing false documents.”

The woman has been identified as Hyejeong Shin.

The high school has been the subject of several scandals over the years, as a 17-year-old sentenced to 60 days after an attack at school was filmed in 2016, and a 14-year-old student was charged after texting threatening a mass shooting in 2021.

Community members are concerned about the motive of the 29-year-old woman, who claimed to be 15 years old. The school district told students who met her to cease all communications with her, and some students expressed concern that she was trying to entice young people into prostitution, New Brunswick today reported.

The school board attempted to iron out the issue at the January 24 meeting, preventing students and parents from discussing the episode at the meeting.

Concerned students tried to confront school officials

(Screenshot / New Brunswick Today)

The six board members did not directly respond to the allegations during the meeting, according to the local news outlet. On a unanimous vote, they approved the report presented by the superintendent and did not mention the matter again.

The woman’s claims that she was 15 were investigated after it remained unclear who her parents or legal guardian were.

On her last day at school before being expelled, she was interrogated by officials. She reportedly asked to sign out of school, but was told she couldn’t leave because she was underage, at which point she eventually revealed she was actually 29, New Brunswick today reported.

“We’re going to take a look at our process…in terms of better finding fake documents and stuff,” Dr Johnson said.

“We feel so in danger and no one wants to listen to us,” said student Ethan Calderon New BrunswickToday. “Do they not care about us because we are minorities?”

Another student, Tatianna, told the outlet that she received a text message from the individual at 10:56 p.m. on Monday.

“I was in class with this woman, I talked to her, I walked her from point A to point B and I never expected this to happen,” she said. “Not knowing she was a 29-year-old female makes me wonder how safe I am in this building.”

She added that she had been “exploited” and should not have provided the woman with her “personal information”.

Michael Castro told the newspaper he had been made aware that the woman’s intention was “to lure children to a specific street in New Brunswick and possibly traffic them.”

“It was so easy for her to engage with these students, teachers and faculty members because no one has ever done a thorough investigation of where this woman came from,” he said. “This is a wake-up call to do better and keep New Brunswick students safe.

The Independent contacted the New Brunswick School Board for comment.

Adult woman arrested after enrolling as student at New Jersey high school

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