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A Texas mom was arrested after posing as her 13-year-old daughter and attending an almost full day of middle school classes as part of what she referred to as a “social experiment.”
Casey Garcia, 30, is now facing charges of criminal trespass and tampering with government records after she was arrested at the middle school on Friday, according to People.
Garcia was taken into custody by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office shortly after one of the teachers discovered the ruse in the final hour of the day.
“We need better security at our schools. This is what I tried to prove and I don’t mean to be curt, but I kind of feel like I proved it,” Garcia said in a video posted to YouTube after the arrest.
Before entering the middle school, Garcia dyed her hair and used self-tanner before donning a yellow Spiderman hoodie, glasses and black face mask to appear more like a teenager.
Garcia said she gained entry to the school by providing her daughter’s student ID number, which she had memorized, and signing in at the entry before greeting the principal and starting her day.
Throughout the day, Garcia filmed herself in a video that was later uploaded to YouTube, roaming the halls of the middle school, sitting in classes, talking to other students and eating lunch.
“I’ve been here all day, face-to-face with teachers,” she tells the camera while eating a slice of pizza.
But the deception was finally discovered during the seventh hour of classes when a female teacher noticed she wasn’t a teenager.
After being discovered, Garcia said she took off her face mask and admitted that she was really the parent of a student in the class.
“She said ‘Why?’ like she was really mind boggled, like she had no idea what had just happened,” Garcia recalled.
Garcia told the teacher it had been a “social experiment.”
The mom filmed herself one final time in the school as she headed to the principal’s office.
“Well, I finally got caught. I told them I would go to the principal’s office so I guess we’ll see what happens,” she said.
At the conclusion of the video, Garcia thanked her daughter’s friends who had allegedly helped her get to the correct classes and didn’t reveal her identity.
“If you knew my secret and you kept it for me, thank you so much for not saying anything,” she said. “I honestly could have not made it the entire day as a middle school student without you.”
Garcia was arrested after the San Elizario Independent School District notified authorities that an adult was trespassing on school grounds and had been posing as a student, according to a statement from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office obtained by People.
Garcia said after her arrest that she decided to carry out the charade to illuminate security concerns within American school systems.
“I didn’t do this to be mean or malicious or to rattle anybody’s cages, I did this to prove a point,” she said.
Garcia said she believes the country has a had “one too many mass shootings in schools” and hoped the experiment served as a reminder of how easy she believes it is for someone to gain access to a school.
“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,” she asked.
Jeannie Meza-Chavez, the superintendent for the San Elizario Independent School District, said in a statement to Oxygen.com that although there had been a “breach in security” all the students at the school were safe.
“An individual associated as a parent with the school district was involved in the incident and posted a video regarding the situation,” she said. “I want to reassure you that our security measures are being reviewed and evaluated not only at the school where the incident occurred but all schools and facilities in the district.”
Garcia was released from jail after posting a $7,908 bond, according to online jail records.
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