Casey Garcia, 30, was taken into custody and charged with criminal trespass and tampering with government records, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office

By Gabrielle Chung
June 08, 2021 07:23 PM
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Casey Garcia
Credit: youtube; el paso county sheriff's office

A 30-year-old mom was arrested on Friday after successfully posing as her 13-year-old daughter in middle school in what she called a "social experiment" to test campus security.

Casey Garcia of San Elizario, Texas, was taken into custody and charged with criminal trespass and tampering with government records, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

She was also arrested on an unrelated traffic warrant.

In a YouTube video uploaded on Wednesday, Garcia - who is 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 105 pounds, according to jail records - wore a yellow hoodie, glasses and a protective face mask as she walked around what appeared to be the hallways of a school.

The video showed the mother interacting with other people on campus, attending classes and eating lunch. Towards the end of the video, Garcia said that she "finally got caught" and was turning herself in to the principal.

According to Garcia, she was only asked for an ID number and whether she had signed in before being allowed into the school.

She claimed in a follow-up video uploaded on Thursday that faculty members were more concerned about her cellphone usage than verifying her identity.

Garcia said that a teacher only noticed that she wasn't a student during the last period of the day. When the teacher confronted her about why was she posing as her daughter, Garcia said it was for a "social experiment" to show a lack of security at schools - especially concerning mass shootings.

"We need better security at our schools," Garcia said. "This is what I tried to prove. I don't mean to be curt, but I kind of feel like I proved it."

She added, "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?"

While Garcia apologized for getting the school district - which she did not name - involved and acknowledged that her actions may be "weird" to some people, she claimed that the stunt was only to help shine a light on the vulnerability of students.

"I did this to prove a point. I proved I could get through the public school system," she said.

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Authorities took Garcia into custody after they were notified by the San Elizario Independent School District of an adult trespassing on school grounds and posing as a student, according to a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

She was released from the El Paso County Detention Facility after posting a $7,908 bond, online jail records show. An attorney for Garcia did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

In a statement provided to PEOPLE, San Elizario Independent School District Superintendent Jeannie Meza-Chavez said that "security measures are being reviewed and evaluated not only at the school where the incident occurred but all schools and facilities in the district."

"While there was a breach in security, all of our students are safe. An individual associated as a parent with the school was involved in the incident and posted a video regarding the situation," Meza-Chavez said.

"Teachers, staff, and administrators in San Elizario ISD will continue to work hard to provide the very best learning environment for students," the statement read. "We are equally committed to continuing to improve all safety measures and protocols. "