A 29-year-old woman, Hyejeong Shin, has been arrested after fraudulently enrolling as a student in a New Jersey high school and attending classes for nearly a week.
Shin is accused of impersonating a minor and providing a false government document that verifies one’s identity or age. While the purpose of the alleged deceptions is still unclear, the incident has enraged the students and families of the local high school.
The woman was charged with one count of providing a false government document with the intent to verify one’s identity or age.
Superintendent Aubrey Johnson of New Brunswick High School in New Jersey said the woman attended classes for four days “before being found out and barred from entering district property.”
Rihanna Colon, a sophomore at the high school, was unknowingly in a class with the woman.
“To know that a person with that intention was that close to me is even scarier,” Colon told News 12 New Jersey.
Colon participated in one of two protests at the high school this week to demand answers from school administrators and ask for better security.
“Our children are in schools and we send them there hoping and praying that they are safe and they’re obviously not,” said Colon’s mother, Yaritza Arroyo.
“Specifically, Ms. Shin provided a false birth certificate to the New Brunswick Board of Education with the intent to enroll as a juvenile high school student,” the police department said in a statement.
Shin sat in a few classes and even texted other students in an attempt to hang out with them outside of school.
The incident was addressed at a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, where Superintendent Dr. Aubrey Johnson said, “We have told our students to refrain from having any further contact with her either remotely or in person.”
He said that she’s been prohibited from being on district property and “all the appropriate authorities were immediately notified.” He added, “This is an unfortunate event.”
Johnson also said that the Board of Education will reevaluate the schools’ enrollment requirements.