by Jim Clayborn
A 29-year-old woman was able to dupe authorities and officials for four days and successfully pose as a high school student at New Brunswick High School in New Jersey.
And after talking to students, authorities have discovered the truly disturbing motive she had for doing so.
Hyejeong Shin was able to attend a New Jersey high school for four days after submitting a fake birth certificate to the New Brunswick, N.J., board of education, according to Timcast.
Shin, who faces a third-degree charge for providing a false government document with intent to verify age or identity, was admitted immediately to the high school due to state laws.
“Pursuant to New Jersey statutes (18a:36-25.1) and guidance from the New Jersey Department of Education, schools are required to immediately enroll unaccompanied children, even in the absence of records normally required for enrollment,” read a statement from New Brunswick Police.
“Proof of guardianship is not necessary to immediately enroll an unaccompanied child or youth,” the statement continued.
The 29-year-old (shwill be 30 in April) presented herself as a freshman while attending classes for four days before a teacher was suspicious of the woman. The superintendent then became aware of her age at a school board meeting and immediately expelled the woman and prohibited her from entering school property.
Adding further fuel to the fire was the polarizing decision that the Board of Education made to keep the incident largely “under wraps,” according to New Brunswick Today. In fact, the incident was announced so close to the board meeting that it was virtually impossible to sign up to speak.
The outlet said some students felt that this timing was deliberate and an attempt to squelch their voices.
“They did that for a reason,” student Michael Castro told New Brunswick Today.
Castro also reiterated the unsubstantiated claim about the woman possibly attempting to lure students into sex trafficking.
“Some of the girls I know, the girl did ask them to hang out at Commercial Avenue, but they never showed up, and she started acting weird with them,” the student added.
Commercial Avenue is where multiple witnesses allege Shin was trying to lure students, with the possibility that she may have tried to traffic them.
“I think she was really trying to traffic young women which is [why] anybody who hears about this needs to be aware of your surroundings,” said Abrianna Martin, a senior at the school of 2,000 students.
“I heard she was still trying to contact some of the young girls here even after we found out,” she told NBCDFW.
Another man named Michael Castro, who attended the board of education meeting, told New Brunswick Today that he was told the woman’s intentions “were to lure kids to a specific street in New Brunswick and possibly traffic them.”
The superintendent says that school administrators will review their enrollment process to better identify falsified documents in the future.
A police investigation is underway.