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Mom charged for posing as her teen daughter in school. She says she did it to prove security flaws.

She insists her "social experiment" was to highlight the lack of safety protocols at schools and to illustrate how vulnerable students are to threats like mass shootings.

Mom charged for posing as her teen daughter in school. She says she did it to prove security flaws.
Cover Image Source: YouTube/Casey Garcia

A Texas mom was charged with criminal trespass and tampering with government records after she spent almost an entire day posing as her 13-year-old daughter at an El Paso middle school. Casey Garcia, the 30-year-old mother of one of the seventh-graders at the school, went viral last week after she posted a YouTube video of what she says was a "social experiment." The video shows Garcia — dressed in a yellow hoodie, skinny jeans, sneakers, thick winged eyeliner, glasses, and a black medical mask — greeting the principal and faculty, eating lunch in the cafeteria without her mask, and going to classes throughout the day.

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Garcia insists that she wasn't chasing online notoriety or simply looking to break the law when she decided to pose as her daughter for an entire day of class. Instead, she said in a video explaining her motives, she was trying to call attention to the lack of safety protocols at schools and to illustrate how vulnerable students are to threats, especially mass shootings. "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."

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"There have been way too many mass shootings. The first one should have never happened. We need metal detectors. I don't think backpacks are a good idea," she added. Speaking to The Washington Post, San Elizario Independent School District Superintendent Jeannie Meza-Chavez said that the district would review its security measures in light of 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 reportedly said in an email.

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The viral video of Garcia's "social experiment" begins with a timelapse of her transforming into her daughter by dying her hair and tanning her skin in preparation for her day in school. "I'll talk to you once I'm inside," she says before entering the school premises. "Do I look like a seventh-grader? No? Cool. Awesome." Once inside, she greets a man she identifies as the principal and other faculty as she walks down the hallways. "I am going to get so caught," Garcia says at one point. "I'm actually really scared now." However, she gets away with it for almost the entire day until the very last period. According to Garcia, the teacher asked her to stay after class and confronted her about not being who she claimed to be.

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"Well, I finally got caught," Garcia told the camera as she walked out of the classroom. "I told them that I would go to the principal's office, so I guess we are going to see what happens." A spokeswoman with the sheriff's office revealed that the San Elizario Independent School District notified the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office about the incident on Tuesday. Garcia was arrested at her home on Friday by deputies who cited an outstanding traffic warrant as to the reason for her arrest.

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She was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility and released later that day after posting a $7,908 bond. Garcia incited a mixed reaction from netizens after her videos of the incident went viral. While some praised her for her actions, others condemned it as a stunt for internet fame. Responding to the online backlash, Garcia said in a video that while she understood why some might consider her actions "weird," students would now be safer due to her exposing a lack of 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 asked, before claiming she "exposed the dangers of our schools. I'm trying to protect my children and yours."

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