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Woman, 29, arrested after enrolling at New Jersey high school posing as student, officials say

Hyejeong Shin attended New Brunswick High School for four days before she was caught, authorities said. She was charged with one count of providing a false government document after showing district officials a false birth certificate to enroll.

A 29-year-old woman was arrested last week after she spent four days fraudulently enrolled in a New Jersey high school as a student, school district officials said. 

The woman, whom New Brunswick police identified as Hyejeong Shin, of New Brunswick, was charged with one count of providing a false government document with the intent to verify one’s identity or age.

Police said she showed a false birth certificate "with the intent to enroll as a juvenile high-school student."

New Brunswick Public School District Superintendent Aubrey Johnson said Tuesday at a Board of Education meeting that Shin had attended New Brunswick High School for several days before she was caught.

New Brunswick High School in New Jersey.
New Brunswick High School in New Jersey.Google Maps

“Last week, by filing some false documents, an adult female posing as a student was able to be enrolled in our high school," Johnson said, according to video of the meeting shared on Twitter by reporter Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today.

During her days in school, Shin spent a lot of time with guidance counselors who were trying to find out more information about her, Johnson said.

Ultimately, staff members at the school "uncovered this woman’s ruse and enabled us to address this situation promptly,” he said.  

"Once our staff determined it was dealing with fraudulent information, they immediately notified the appropriate authorities. The individual in question has now been charged," Johnson said in a statement Wednesday, noting she was barred from district property.

 Johnson said the school has warned students to refrain from having any further contact with the woman, in person and remotely. 

He said the district will take a look at its enrollment process to better identify false documentation. 

“This is an unfortunate event. Communication has been provided to the parents of individuals that the young lady may have come into contact with, and communication has been provided to all high school parents today,” Johnson said.

He said police are investigating.

Police said that according to New Jersey statutes, schools are required to “immediately enroll unaccompanied children, even in the absence of records normally required for enrollment.” But a district can request such documents later to verify a student’s age.

"The wellbeing of our students, staff, and community are of utmost importance to us, and we will continue working with the police department and our other partners in addressing this matter," Johnson said in the Wednesday statement.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said it is not investigating the incident.

It was not immediately clear whether Shin has a lawyer.