Woman caught attending New Brunswick, NJ High as ‘fake’ student
NEW BRUNSWICK – It could be a remake of the 80s teen comedy "Hiding Out" gone bad.
In the 1987 movie, Jon Cryer plays a stockbroker-turned-government witness who enrolls as a student in a Delaware high school to escape hitmen trying to permanently silence him from testifying in a court case. He takes on the identity of "Maxwell Hauser" when he first shows up at the school to register for classes.
In the real life version, a woman enrolled at New Brunswick High School and attended classes for nearly a week before school officials realized the ruse, Superintendent Aubrey Johnson said during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.
New Brunswick police identified her as Hyejeong Shin, 29, of New Brunswick. She was charged with one count of third degree providing a false government document with the intent to verify one’s identity or age.
"She attended a few classes but most times she was in our guidance suite as we tried to get more information from her," Johnson said. "She was here for four days before being found out and barred from entering district property. All appropriate authorities were immediately notified and the individual in question was arrested for providing false documentation."
How did this happen?
Parents of the students who attended classes with her were notified. Students were instructed not to have any contact with her either in person or remotely.
Johnson said that the school is required to enroll anyone who wants to attend classes but would look at its registration processes to better spot fake documents.
"Schools are required to immediately enroll unaccompanied children, even in the
absence of records normally required for enrollment. Proof of guardianship is not necessary to
immediately enroll an unaccompanied child or youth," New Brunswick Deputy Director J.T. Miller said in a statement. "Although a school district might request documents such as a birth certificate to verify a child’s age, a school district may not prevent or discourage a child, including an unaccompanied child, from enrolling in or attending school because he or she lacks a birth certificate or has records that indicate a foreign place of birth, such as a foreign birth certificate.
The district website does not list documents that must be provided for a new student.
The Montclair school district, for example, requires an original birth certificate with a raised seal, proof of identity and residency.
Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today was first to report on the student, posting video of Johnson at the meeting. The district does not post video of its meetings.
New Brunswick police on Wednesday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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