Shelby Hewitt is a 32-year-old Canton, Massachusetts, former social worker who is accused of posing as a teenage student at three different high schools in the state — playing on the girls’ basketball team at one of them, according to Boston.com..
An arrest warrant for Hewitt “listed four charges of forgery, two of false writing and one of identity fraud,” according to NBC Boston. She has since been charged with “two felony counts of forging documents and five other charges,” Boston 25 reported.
School officials say they got wind of the scheme when they were asked to investigate a complaint that Hewitt claimed she was bullied, according to Boston 25.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Another Man Pretended to Be Shelby Hewitt’s Father & Tried to Withdraw Her From School, Reports Say
WCVB-TV reported that Hewitt, “at various points during the 2022-2023 school year,” attended Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Brighton High School and English High School, “utilizing the student transfer process and enrolling under multiple pseudonyms.”
According to Boston 25, Hewitt was caught when a man named John Smith “posed as Hewitt’s father and tried to withdraw her from English High because of the bullying she was allegedly receiving.”
That provoked the school to look into her enrollment paperwork, and officials noticed discrepancies, Boston 25 reported, adding in a search warrant that authorities found forged documents.
NBC Boston reported that Hewitt used the name “Ellie Alessandra Blake” in at least one school.
2. Shelby Hewitt, Who Even Joined the Girls’ Basketball Team, Is Accused of Telling Students She Was a Homeless Foster Kid or an Immigrant From Colombia, a Report Says
According to Boston.com, Hewitt was described by classmates at Jeremiah E. Burke High School as a girl named “Daneilla” who kept to herself.
Janell Lamons, a 15-year-old student, befriended her. “I thought that she was 16, 17 — at least [that’s] what she told me — and she was super smart,” Lamons said to Boston.com. “Whenever we needed help with math, she would help us during math class.” (Lamon’s mother, Robin Williams, has written about the interview on Facebook.)
“Today my daughter and I were interviewed by Boston glo and had a picture taken, regarding the 32-year-old woman who is posing as a 15 16 years old student in Jeremiah E. Burke High School,” Williams commented on that post.
Hewitt attended Sharon High School when she was actually 16, Boston.com reported.
“What was her intent?” Templar Kinney, the mother of another teen at Burke, said to Boston.com. “I find it disturbing.”
Hewitt told classmates she was a homeless foster kid whose parents died of a drug overdose or whose father was in prison, according to Boston.com. According to the newspapers, being in foster care would require the schools to enroll her before receiving “student enrollment documentation.”
According to Boston.com, she drove a car to school, “looked too old to be in high school” and “dressed a little too well.”
She also told students she was an immigrant from Colombia and joined the girls’ basketball team, the newspaper reported, adding that she was “known for having emotional outbursts in the hallways or in the classrooms.”
3. Shelby Hewitt Is a Former Social Worker
Online records show Hewitt living in an apartment in Canton. She also has prior addresses in Auburndale, Brighton and Danvers, Massachusetts, public records show.
According to Boston.com, Hewitt is a “former Department of Children and Families social worker.”
She worked for the department until February 2023, Boston.com reported.
4. Shelby Hewitt Is From an Italian Family With Long Ties to Boston, Gloucester & Sharon, Massachusetts
According to the obituary for Hewitt’s mother, Loreen DeBenedictis Hewitt died in 2018 at the age of 65 “after a long illness.”
“She was the wife of Malcolm R. Hewitt of Sharon Ma and the mother to Shelby Hewitt of Boston Ma. Loreen and Malcolm spent 37 loving years together,” the obit says.
The obituary says that Shelby Hewitt’s mother and her family had long ties to Gloucester and Sharon, Massachusetts.
The mother worked at an investment firm and in fundraising, the obituary says, and spent “long summer days in Gloucester.” The family is of Italian heritage, the obit says.
The Sharon High School yearbook contains a photo of Hewitt when she was a sophomore.
5. Boston’s School Superintendent Called Shelby Hewitt’s Actions ‘a Case of Extremely Sophisticated Fraud’
According to NBC Boston, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper released a statement about the fake student, calling it “a case of extremely sophisticated fraud.”
She told parents police were called.
Skipper told parents that Hewitt (without naming her) was “discharged and is being ordered to stay away from Boston Public Schools (BPS) facilities,” NBC Boston reported.
Heavy has contacted Skipper for further comment.