Police documents further reveal that the suspect’s mother used a fraudulent passport and birth certificate to enroll her 28-year-old daughter at Hahnville High School during the 2022-2023 school year.
After school officials received that “a tip that a female student, who was on record as being 17 years old, was in fact an adult possibly in her mid 20’s,” an investigation was launched. They then submitted their findings to the sheriff’s office.
The birth certificate, originally from Honduras, “looked just like a real birth certificate,” the sheriff said.
“Whether you’re a U.S. citizen, a foreign national, some type of immigrant — no matter what status — students are entitled a role in our public school system,” Champagne said. “Inquiring about their immigration status is not done.”
Gutierrez-Serrano’s mother was living in the U.S. on an expired visa, Champagne added. Her daughter arrived in the U.S. in 2021, and in a photo taken of her at the time, she could have “very easily be taken for a young teenager.”
She “wanted to become proficient in English and perhaps further her education, which I think we can all be sympathetic with,” Champagne said. “Unfortunately, whether it was her decision or her mother’s decision, it’s certainly bad judgment to submit a falsified document to the government.”
In a statement, the St. Charles Parish school district it “will enhance processes to determine the authenticity of enrollment documents for current and future students as well as modify policy and procedures as warranted.”