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Schools Affected By Recession

Source: Mary Knox Merrill / Getty

She Really Tried It

A 32-year-old woman was clearly up to no good when she pretended to be a homeless teen so she could enroll in high school classes.

According to, Michaelann Goodrich told the Cairo-Durham School District in New York that she was a 15-year-old named Riley Madison. She reportedly attended one day of high school classes and even rode the bus to and from school on December 20th. She was absent on the 21st and then the holiday break began the next week.

Authorities arrested Goodrich on the 28th and charged her with offering a false instrument for filing, falsifying business records and criminal trespassing.

Investigators are still unsure of how Goodrich was able to enroll in classes in the first place. District Superintendent Anthony Taibi said administrators immediately felt something wasn’t right.

“She could’ve gone in numerous different ways to obtain a degree and we actually found out through the investigation and that she has a high school diploma,” he said. “So that just leads to our investigation to try to figure out what exactly her motive was for attending school.”

According to Taibi, the district had to admit Goodrich into the school immediately under the McKinney-Vento Act because she was homeless.

Parents in the neighborhood were obviously distraught when they found out about the over-aged high school attendee. “It was kind of unnerving, it could’ve been anybody you know you hear about school shootings all that, could’ve been anybody coming in here trying to get plans of the school,” said Joshua Mack, who has a daughter in middle school. “I mean obviously that wasn’t the case but it could’ve been.”

Taibi said that the McKinney-Vento Act should probably be re-assessed after a situation where non-teens can slip through the cracks. Mack agreed with the sentiment.

“I don’t know maybe they need to look into the act a little better maybe find out–not throw her in school right away, find out where she came from, find out what’s going on with the family and everything,” Mack said.

The case surrounding Goodrich is still active and investigators are asking anyone who may have had contact with Goodrich to contact the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.



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