The question “What is a woman?” infiltrated the cultural zeitgeist in 2022, and in 2023, it appears to still be at the forefront of fierce debate.
But in this particular instance, it’s not a question about the immutable qualities that make a person a woman — no, this time it’s more about the age at which a woman can no longer claim to be a “girl.”
Or, more specifically, a girl who’s a high school student.
According to multiple reports, including from New Brunswick Today, 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.
Breaking news: An adult woman was arrested after posing as a child and providing fake documents to enroll in New Brunswick High School last week, @aubjohnson111 announced tonight.
She attended the school for four days and community members are concerned about her motives. pic.twitter.com/BLOwgFeyss
— Charlie Kratovil (@Charlie4Change) January 25, 2023
“By filing false documents, an adult female posing as a student was able to be enrolled in our high school,” New Brunswick Public School District Superintendent Aubrey Johnson told the Board of Education during its meeting Tuesday, according to New Brunswick Today.
“She was here for four days before being found out, and barred from entering the district property,” Johnson said. “All appropriate authorities were immediately notified, and the individual in question has now been arrested for providing false documentation.”
Of note, Johnson did not provide any additional information, such as the woman’s age, when she was arrested or which authorities were notified of the incident.
However, NBC News, citing the New Brunswick police, said the woman in question is 29-year-old Hyejeong Shin of New Brunswick.
Shin was ultimately charged with one count of providing a false government document with the intent to verify one’s identity or age.
And while a case as bizarre as this is always worth a chuckle and a raised eyebrow, it’s no laughing matter for the students who attend New Brunswick High School.
In fact, according to New Brunswick Today, some students fear that the mysterious Shin may have been attempting to lure young people into sex work.
“We feel so unsafe and nobody wants to listen to us,” one student told the outlet.
“Not knowing she was a 29-year-old woman makes me question how safe I am in this building,” another said.
WCBS-TV quoted a student as saying the woman sent some classmates text messages asking them to “hang out,” and when they didn’t show up, “she started acting weird with them.”
“It’s scary because you never know what could happen,” the student said.
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.
“From what I’ve been told, her intentions were to lure kids to a specific street in New Brunswick and possibly traffic them,” he said. “It was so easy for her to engage with these students, teachers, and faculty members because no one ever did a thorough investigation of where this woman came from. …
“This is a wake-up call to do better and ensure the safety of students in New Brunswick.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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