A Texas woman was arrested after spending an entire day at middle school posing as her 13-year-old daughter and documenting her experience online as administrators and most teachers failed to notice.
Casey Garcia, 30, of San Elizario, has since been arrested and charged with criminal trespass and tampering with government records, KWTX reported. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office was first alerted on June 1 to several social medial posts circulating online documenting the incident.
The incident happened at Garcia-Enriquez Middle School in San Elizario, located 20 miles southeast of El Paso, KTSM confirmed.
She was later taken into custody at her home. In one video posted to YouTube titled, “Going to school as my 13yr old daughter (Middle School edition),” Garcia is seen wearing a yellow hoodie, glasses and a black face mask entering the school.
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“Do I look like a 7th grader? No? Cool, awesome!” she says.
Garcia said she put on fake tanner and dyed her hair to better resemble her teen daughter, “Julie.” When she walked into the school, she wrote down her daughter’s ID number that she had memorized. She can be heard saying good morning to who she says was the principal.
Garcia said she spoke to another faculty member and then attended all of her daughter’s classes. Though some students eventually recognize her, she thanks them at the end of the video for keeping her secret.
Garcia is seen eating in the school cafeteria during lunch with her mask partially off. She also later shows a math assignment to the camera, as someone addresses her by her daughter’s name.
“We need better security at our schools. This is what I tried to prove,” Garcia said in a follow-up video. “I didn’t do this to get views. I didn’t do this to get likes. I didn’t do this so people could be mad at me and I can never walk around El Paso again.”
“The teachers were so preoccupied about the students who were online that they weren’t paying attention to the students who were there physically,” Garcia said. “I think the deal breaker for me was actually walking in and posing as a seventh grader. I mean, I’m no spring chicken, but it wasn’t hard.”
Garcia said she made it through all seven periods, until the last teacher asked her to stay after class and confronted her.
“I was ‘hey, put your phone away.’ I was not a name, I was not a person, I was ‘hey put your phone away’,” Garcia said. “It was for a social experiment. I wanted to see if I could make it the entire day without anybody noticing. I’d say up until seventh period is a very long day for a 30-year-old.”
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“There have been one too many mass shootings in schools,” she continued in the video following her arrest. “That is disgusting to think of that it all could have been prevented just by putting metal detectors and more security… Are you more concerned that I, a parent, was sitting next to your child or do we really want to wait for the next person taking their Second Amendment right to the extreme?
Garcia was initially booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on both charges and for an unrelated traffic warrant, KWTX reported. Her bonds totaled $7,908. She also documented her interactions with deputies when they first arrived to her home.
“While there was a breach in security by an individual associated as a parent with the school,” San Elizario Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Mesa-Chavez said in a statement to KTSM, “We want to assure you that our security measures are being reviewed and evaluated.”