This is a TNB Public Service Announcement. Don’t Attend School Under False Pretenses.
We at TNB were not aware this message needed to be provided. We were wrong. In recognition of children going back to school, we decided to provide this PSA.
There are dozens of cases of people going to school with the intent to facilitate crime. People who have no intention of learning anything, but want a way to access other teenagers as potential drug customers or for other nefarious activities.
There are also cases where young-looking adult police officers infiltrate schools with the intent on stopping the prior sorts of crimes, such as the 2015 Houston narcotics ring bust. (Houston Chronicle)
Those stand out, though, because they’re only students in name. Then there are the real students.
Like Artur Samarin, a 23 year old Ukranian man, who arrived in the US on a worker exchange visa and stayed for a while under a tourism visa. When the tourism visa expired, he was expected to go home. When he was not seen to have left, it was assumed that he, like so many with expired visas, simply overstayed his welcome and gone underground. (CNN)
Instead, he’d gone aboveground… as Asher Potts, a high school freshman. The “kid” was a great student, almost as if he’d already learned the material being taught. He became a National Honor Society member and joined the U.S. Navy ROTC. The city even declared Asher Potts day. He was discovered not because of any of the groups discovered his past, but because a parent of one of the teenaged girls he had dated to keep up his ruse was angry that he had had “sexual contact” with her, and decided to research. The contact that had helped maintain his cover as a randy high school kid not only got him deported, but secured him jail time. (Daily Mail)
That same result may await Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley, a 25 year old man who was arrested in Dallas, Texas this year. Posing as a 17 year old for months before being discovered, he was later revealed to have been dating a 14 year old. He is now up on indecency charges, but not assault or any other stronger charges. It seems that dating the young girl may have been used merely as cover for the activity that inspired his masquerade… becoming a high school basketball star.
One might think that going back to high school and working hard as a student just to be on a basketball team might be a unique occurrence. Not so. In 2010, a 22 year old posed as 16 in order to lead an Odessa, Texas team to the the state playoffs. (ESPN)
Some people really like basketball.
At least in all of these cases, some reason, however odd, can be given as to why the impostors wanted to be in high school again. That’s not always the case.
Meet Charity Anne Johnson, 34, who posed for months as someone less than half her age, 15 year old Charity Stevens.
Johnson even kept up a presence on social media. She posed for selfies and posted snapshots of friendship bracelets and Hello Kitty on Instagram and Twitter — all things that wouldn’t be out of place on a high school student’s account.ABC News
She was working at a McDonald’s when she struck up a conversation with a local woman. Johnson provided a hard-luck story of her life that ended with her just recently getting the job. The woman, Tamica Lincoln, decided to lend a helping hand. She let Charity move in with her and helped her enroll in school. Charity was getting good grades when someone running an organization that aids troubled children ran a routine background check.
Not only had Charity been alive since 1979, she’d previously served jail time… for posing as a teen and registering in high school.
Question of the night: If you could go back and tell your high-school self one piece of advice, what would it be?