Woman Convicted of Masquerading as High School Student Worries New Brunswick Community

Last Monday, authorities charged a 29-year-old woman with impersonating a student for four days at the high school, prompting students to express worry.

Wednesday, Hyejeong Shin, a 29-year-old city resident, was charged with one count of supplying a fake official document with the aim to prove one’s identity or age, according to the New Brunswick Police Department’s Deputy Director J.T. Miller.

Forged Documents

Shin, according to authorities, enrolled as a student at New Brunswick High School, using a forged birth certificate and claiming to be a teenager. Miller stated this charge is a third-degree offense.

As a result of an in-school altercation and the forged document event, some students expressed fear for their protection and well-being on Wednesday via social media. Some individuals took part in an impromptu demonstration.

Video footage revealed the main office was closed in reaction to the students’ protest. According to another tweet, the principal “glanced” at the pupils before “walking away.”

Superintendent of New Brunswick Public Schools Aubrey Johnson acknowledged in a statement issued on Wednesday that an adult lady posing as a student filed bogus credentials and got admission to the high school during the week of January 16.

During Tuesday evening’s Board of Education meeting, he told the board of this occurrence.

As per Miller, according to state statutes (18a:36-25.1) and directives from the New Jersey Department Of Education (NJDOE), schools are mandated to enroll unaccompanied minors promptly, even in the lack of documents ordinarily required for enrollment.

Once the team “recognized it was dealing with bogus information,” according to Johnson, they quickly contacted the proper authorities. Tuesday, the school community received a letter stating that Shin attended lessons for “less than a week.”

Unrest and Worry

Several kids and parents joined Tuesday’s Board of Education session to ask about the event, but according to a district policy approved in October 2021, individuals who wish to speak must sign up with the Board Secretary 24 hours ahead of time.

According to kids and parents, the exposure of the incident and the timeframe of the indictment did not permit this.

Due to the fact the woman had been at the school for four days, several children and adults voiced their concerns, despite being prohibited from speaking before the board. Shin apparently made friends with multiple pupils, as evidenced by the exchange of phone numbers and social media profiles.

Worried that they may have been in danger, the students questioned the woman’s purpose for acting as a student and questioned her motivation. According to some, the woman may have been a cover for a human trafficking group.

The district instructed the students not to engage with Shin if she tries to contact them again. In his message to the community, Johnson warns all students, especially those who may have met this woman while she attended high school, to avoid further contact with her, whether it be in person or digitally.

Students and parents who were unable to speak at the Board of Education meeting were urged to contact Johnson at his office by board members. Additionally, Johnson instructed community members to call their school principal if they had additional questions.

Johnson and other board members stated at the meeting that a reassessment of the district’s enrollment practices was necessary, in light of the occurrence.