El Paso, TX – An El Paso mother who disguised herself as her 13-year-old daughter and attended classes in order to prove the school’s security was flawed was arrested for her caper after she shared it on social media.
Casey Garcia dressed as her 7th grader and spent June 1 at Garcia Enriquez Middle School attending classes as she filmed her experiment, The Washington Post reported.
Garcia posted video of herself walking through the hallways of the school, sitting in classes, chatting with the principal and other teachers in the hallway, and even eating lunch with her mask off in the cafeteria.
None of the adults realized that the 30-year-old mother was pretending to be her daughter, Julie, until the last class period of the day.
She was sent to the principal’s office when she was found out but faced no immediate consequences, The Washington Post reported.
Garcia posted another video on June 3 to explain why she had conducted her “social experiment.”
“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 so I could never walk around El Paso again,” the mom said in the video she posted to YouTube. “I did this to prove that the public school system, the private school system, is not really… let me explain my day to you.”
Garcia said she had to dye her hair darker to look more like her daughter but otherwise did nothing to change her appearance because all the students have to wear masks.
“I wasn’t trying to be someone else. I was trying to be my kid. I was nervous the entire time,” she explained in her video.
Garcia said when she first walked in the school, they asked her for her ID number and if she signed in.
“The school was so concerned that my phone was out, that they weren’t even paying attention to who I was. It was, ‘Hey, put your phone away,’” the mother said.
After eating lunch maskless, Garcia said in her video that she attended afternoon classes as a 7th grader.
“I was then the only student in one of my classes. The teachers were so preoccupied with the students that were online, that they weren’t paying attention to the students that were there physically,” she said in the video.
“The deal breaker for me was actually walking in and posing as a seventh-grader. I mean, I am no spring chicken. But, it wasn’t hard,” Garcia said.
“I made it to all seven periods until the last teacher, she was female, and she said, ‘Julie can you stay after class?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’ She looked at me and she said, ‘You’re not Julie.’ I took off my mask and took off my glasses. I said, ‘No. I’m not Julie. I’m Julie’s mom.’ She said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘For a social experiment. I wanted to see if I could make it the entire the day without anyone noticing,’” she said she explained.
Garcia said she did it to prove that their public school system’s security was seriously lacking.
“I’m a parent. I proved I could get through the public school system… and I made it without any problem. I ate lunch without my mask on. I thought that was the deal breaker. I’m tell you right now, we need better security at our schools,” she said.
She said she was nervous all day while impersonating her daughter.
“Look, no one noticed I was there. That is a problem. I was, ‘Hey put your phone away.’ That’s what I was. I was not a name. I was not a person,” Garcia said in the video.
She admitted she had taken a weird approach to the problem.
“Are you more concerned that I, a parent, was sitting next to your child or do you really want to wait for the next person taking their Second Amendment right to the extreme?” she asked in the video.
“We need better security at our schools,” Garcia said in the video. “This is what I tried to prove. I don’t mean to be curt, but I kind of feel like I proved it.”
“There have been way too many mass shootings,” she continued. “The first one should have never happened. We need metal detectors. I don’t think backpacks are a good idea.”
San Elizario Independent School District Superintendent Jeannie Meza-Chavez told KTSM that the district be reevaluating their security following the incident.
“While there was a breach in security by an individual associated as a parent with the school … we want to assure you that our security measures are being reviewed and evaluated,” Meza-Chavez said.
Garcia was arrested on June 4, the day after she posted her second video to YouTube that explained why she had impersonated her daughter, The Washington Post arrested.
Deputies who arrested her at her home cited an outstanding traffic warrant.
Jail records showed she was charged with criminal trespass and tampering with government records, The Washington Post reported.
She was booked into the El Paso County Detention facility and later released on $7,908 bond.