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A Texas mom dressed up as her daughter and attended almost a full day of the girl’s classes before anyone noticed—proving her point that the school needed better security to protect the kids from a mass shooting.
Casey Garcia, 30, spent last Tuesday recording herself attending classes and other activities at Garcia Enriquez Middle School in San Elizario, Texas. At 4 foot 11 inches tall, dressed in a hoodie, jeans, sneakers, and a black face mask, Garcia apparently blended right in with her 13-year-old daughter’s classmates: She said hello to the school's principal, spoke to teachers, had lunch, and even went to gym class without much of an issue.
It wasn’t until her seventh and final class of the day that a teacher finally noticed that the person in the seat was actually a grown woman. The teacher pulled her aside after class and confronted her.
Garcia uploaded a video diary of the experiment to YouTube the next day, and it amassed more than 430,000 views.
But school administrators told El Paso County Sheriff’s Office about Garcia’s stunt, and she was arrested by deputies and charged with criminal trespassing and tampering with government records, according to CBS affiliate KWTX-10. She was released from the El Paso County Detention Facility on a $7,908 bond on Friday.
In a follow-up video uploaded last week, Garcia tried to explain herself.
“Wanted to see if I could make it the entire day without anyone noticing, and I'd say up until seventh period, that’s a very long day for a 30-year-old,” she said. “I did this to prove a point. I’m a parent. I proved that I could get through the public school system without any problem.”
“We need better security at our schools,” she said later in the video. “And I don’t mean to be curt, but I kind of feel like I proved it.”
Garcia explained that her main motivation was the slate of mass shootings in U.S. schools. She also called for the addition of metal detectors to schools and said that she even has reservations about backpacks.
“There have been one too many mass shootings,” she said. “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?”
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment.
At least 148 children, teachers, and others have been killed in incidents of gun violence at schools since the mass shooting at Columbine High School, according to the Washington Post. Another 317 have been injured. More than 248,000 students in the U.S. have experienced gun violence at school in the last two decades.
Despite Garcia’s arrest, it seems her experiment did get school officials thinking. In a statement to VICE News, the San Elizario school district said that while students were safe through Garcia’s day at the school, they’d be reassessing school security.
“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,” San District Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Meza-Chavez told the news outlet.