A mom from Texas posed as her 13-year-old daughter for an entire school day last week and not one teacher noticed.
Casey Garcia, 30, made it until the last period of the day on June 1, and was quickly charged with criminal trespassing and tampering with government records.
The day prior to her “social experiment,” Garcia practiced her “look” that would mirror her 13-year-old daughter.
Garcia, who weighs about 105 pounds and is about 4 feet 11 inches tall, dyed her hair and tanned her skin to look closer to her daughter Julie. Dressed in a yellow hoodie, jeans, sneakers, glasses, and a black medical mask, Garcia recorded the entire experience in a series of videos on her YouTube page.
“Do I look like a seventh-grader?” she asked in a video, titled “Going to school as my 13yr old daughter (Middle School edition)” from June 2. “No? Cool. Awesome.”
She then signed into school using her daughter’s ID. The clip then shows the mom sitting through her daughter’s second-period math class. And in gym class, her daughter’s teacher stopped her and asked who she was, to which she said that she was Julie — and he believed her.
“I’ve been here all day, face-to-face with teachers,” Garcia said in the clip while sitting down for lunch. It wasn’t until her daughter’s last period class when the teacher asked “Julie” to stay after class and realized it wasn’t her.
“Well, I finally got caught,” Garcia shared with the camera as she walked down the hall. “I told them that I would go to the principal’s office, so I guess we are going to see what happens.”
Officers cited an outstanding traffic warrant when they arrested the mom, but she’s since been charged with criminal trespassing and tampering with government records. She was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility but was released later that day after posting the $7,908 bond.
The mom alleged that throughout the day how her daughter’s teachers seemed more concerned that she had her phone out than checking to make sure Garcia was who she said she was.
“They never interacted with me,” she said in a third video. “It was always, ‘Hey, put your phone away.’ I wasn’t even a person, I was just, ‘hey, put your phone away.’
“I didn’t do this to ruffle any feathers and I didn’t do this to out the school because I was never going to say what school district or what school it was — they put that out there themselves,” she said.
In one class — the mom said she was the only student in class.
“They were so concerned with the students that were online that they weren’t paying attention to the students that were over there physically.”
Garcia said the real issue was that she was able to pose as Julie with no one noticing.
“It wasn’t hard,” she shared. And in a third video, the mom swore up and down she didn’t conduct her experiment for likes or views.
“We need better security at our schools,” she explained. “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.”
But she doesn’t regret the dangerous act.
“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.
“This is a problem in all schools,” both public and private, she said.
When speaking with KTSM, San Elizario Independent School District Superintendent Jeannie Meza-Chavez informed the news station how they were working to ensure that every child is safe.
“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,” she admitted.
The news station also spoke to Garcia after she was released from prison on Friday, and she did not mince her words to the superintendent.
“I spent the day in police custody, but my question still remains: Are our children safe in our schools, Jeannie Meza-Chavez? I’m trying to protect my children and yours.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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