Charity Johnson, 34, posed as a 15-year-old to enrol at a private Texas high school, authorities say.

Charity Johnson, 34, posed as a 15-year-old to enrol at a private Texas high school, authorities say. Photo: AP

Longview, Texas: A 34-year-old woman posed as a teenager to enrol as a sophomore at a small private high school in East Texas, officials said.

Longview police said Charity Johnson was arrested early on Tuesday morning after telling officers she was ''Charite Stevens'' and was born in November 1997. Police had been called to an apartment when the person Ms Johnson was staying with said she no longer wanted her living there. Police gave Ms Johnson a trespass warning.

Officer Debra Stiles said during the investigation, police determined she had given them a false name and birth date.

Police say Ms Johnson is 34, although jail records list her as 31. She was being held in the Gregg County Jail on a $US500 bond for allegedly giving false information to police.

The principal at New Life Christian School in Longview said Ms Johnson enrolled in October with a guardian and filled out paperwork indicating she was 15.

''She acted like a 15, 16-year-old. She was an attentive student, respectful, did her homework,'' Stuart Newlin told Associated Press.

He said the school charges $US150 a month, but there’s no penalty if students don’t pay. He said she’d been paying about $US24 a month tuition at the school with about 30 students.

Everyone involved with the school was convinced she was a teen.

''The why? Nobody seems to know why,'' Mr Newlin said.

Officer Stiles also said she did not know why the woman posed as a teen.

Tamica Lincoln told KLTV television station in Tyler, Texas, that she invited the 34-year-old into her home in March after Ms Johnson told her she needed a place to stay.

''I sympathised with her, and invited her into my home. I took her in as a child, did her hair, got her clothes and shoes,'' Ms Lincoln said.

She called police after suspecting Ms Johnson was using a fake identity.

''I just don’t know why she did it,'' Ms Lincoln told the television station.

AP