Students at a high school in Texas were shocked to find out that a fellow student named "Charite Stevens" is actually a woman in her 30s posing as a teenager.
According to police, Charity Anne Johnson enrolled at New Life Christian School, a private institution in Longview, posing as a 15-year-old home-schooled student who wanted to transfer to the school. She started classes as a sophomore in October 2013. Principal Stuart Newlin said no one ever questioned her story.
She may have gone completely undiscovered if it weren't for an argument that ended in a police visit earlier this week. Tamica Lincoln, a friend who was letting Johnson stay with her, called police and told them she no longer wanted the woman in her home. According to the Associated Press, when police arrived, Johnson tried to keep up her story that she was a high school student, but it quickly backfired:
Longview police said Charity Johnson was arrested early Tuesday morning after telling officers she was "Charite Stevens" and was born in November 1997. Police had been called to an apartment when the person Johnson was staying with said she no longer wanted her living there. Police gave Johnson a trespass warning.Officer Debra Stiles said during the investigation, police determined she had given them a false name and birthdate.Police say Johnson is 34, although jail records list her as 31. She was being held Wednesday in the Gregg County Jail on $500 bond for allegedly giving false information to police. Attorney information was not listed for her.Stiles said she did not know why the woman posed as a teen.
Lincoln told a local television station she believed Johnson's story initially as well.
"I sympathized with her, and invited her into my home. I took her in as a child, did her hair, got her clothes and shoes," Lincoln said.She called police after suspecting Johnson was using a fake identity."I just don't know why she did it," Lincoln told the television station.
Newlin said Johnson was paying $24 a month out of the school's standard $150 monthly tuition. He told the Associated Press, no one as the school suspected Johnson wasn't telling the truth about her age.
"The why? Nobody seems to know why," Newlin said. "There's a lot more to find out."
Something strikes me as very sad about this story—I can't quite put my finger on it. There's obviously a lot more to this story we do not know, but it is already completely fascinating. We can make a lot of assumptions and guesses about why someone in their 30s would want to go back to high school. Personally, that would be LAST place I would ever want to set foot in again, but I can't say that I haven't thought to myself "what if I could do it all over again?" I would study harder, give absolutely ZERO FUCKS about any of the high school drama/cliques, join a lot more extracurricular activities and most of all, I would not repeat my disastrous tryouts for the basketball team in my freshman year. No one needs to see all that again.
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