32-year-old Michaelann Goodrich applied for registration to a public high school in Cairo, New York in December of 2018. She claimed to be 15-year-old Riley Madison who was homeless but still looking to get her high school diploma. Goodrich was enrolled and she attended school for one day of classes. Goodrich even rode the bus to and from school and ate lunch in the cafeteria. She was absent the next day but apparently, it was clear the whole time that she wasn't a student at all.
The school superintendent, Anthony Talibi, was adamant that Goodrich was never left to her own devices and wasn't fooling anyone. He said that officials were first skeptical of her story upon registration.
However, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires all homeless students be enrolled in school immediately to provide a safe environment for any student in need. The law was designed with abducted or runaway youths in mind to get those individuals in a safe and stable environment as quickly as possible. This situation has highlighted some flaws in the law and some ways to circumvent the rules.
It turns out that Michaelann Goodrich lives her husband in Cairo, NY and has no children and isn't currently employed. She does have a high school diploma from California which made her motive even more of a mystery.
This instance reminds us of the 90s rom-com Never Been Kissed where Drew Barrymore portrayed an adult 20-something journalist who went undercover as a high school student for a story. Of course, she fell in love with a hot teacher (thankfully he was a good guy who never pursued her as a student) but Goodrich never had the chance since she was suspected from the start.
She was outed too soon and arrested for felony false information for filing, felony falsifying business records and misdemeanor criminal trespassing. Police have been contacting students that may have had contact with Goodrich to figure out what was going on.
A motive still hasn't been established. Could you imagine going back to high school as an adult? Let us know if this even sounds worth it.