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30 going on 13: Mom charged after posing as teen daughter at school

A 30-year-old woman has been arrested on trespassing charges in Texas after she allegedly infiltrated a school while dressed as her 13-year-old daughter for a social media stunt.

Casey Garcia, of San Elizario, faces charges of criminal trespassing and tampering with government records in connection with the incident, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

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Authorities say Garcia disguised herself with a sweater and a facemask, then pretended to be her daughter for a full day of classes at a middle school in El Paso.

Video posted on Garcia’s YouTube channel shows her disguising herself as a child, walking the halls of a school, sitting through classes and taking photos in the school restroom.

“Going to school as my 13yr old daughter (Middle School edition),” the video title reads.

Garcia’s video shows her donning her disguise, then repeatedly telling the camera that she’s afraid she will be caught.

“Do I look like a seventh-grader? No? Cool,” she says in the video. She also mentions using her daughter’s school ID number to get in.

The video ends with her being sent to the principal’s office.

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School officials alerted authorities to the adult intruder on June 1, the sheriff’s office says. Detectives quickly identified the suspect, reviewed her social media posts and later arrested her at her home, in an incident that she also posted on YouTube.

Jail records show that Garcia stands four feet 11 inches tall and weighs 105 pounds — measurements that fall within the average range for a 13-year-old girl, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Garcia was booked at the El Paso County Detention Facility and later released on bond.

She admitted to infiltrating the school in a followup video posted on YouTube on Friday, in which she claims she was performing a “social experiment.”

“I didn’t do this to get views,” she says in the video, which has 163,000 views to date.

“We need better security at our schools. This is what I tried to prove,” she says. “I don’t mean to be curt, but I kind of feel like I proved it.”

She then suggests that schools should all have metal detectors to prevent mass shootings, although she does not say how a metal detector might have unravelled her own disguise.

Garcia goes on to say that most teachers were more focused on her phone than her face, and that she was not discovered until the end of the day, when a teacher confronted her after class.

“She looked at me and she’s like, ‘You’re not Julie,'” Garcia says in her video. “I took off my mask, I took off my glasses and I said, ‘No I’m not Julie, I’m Julie’s mom.'”

Her three school-related videos had a combined 618,000 views as of Monday morning. Two other videos on the channel dated back to before the incident, and had a combined 16,000 views.

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San Elizario Independent School District superintendent Jeannie Meza-Chavez says the district will examine its security measures in the wake of the breach.

“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 told local broadcaster KTSM.

Garcia called out Meza-Chavez by name in a separate statement to KTSM on Friday, after her release from custody.

“I spent the day in police custody, but my question still remains: are our children safe in our schools, Jeannie Meza-Chavez?” she said.

It’s the second time that an adult has been accused of infiltrating a school in inthe last month. In a separate case in Florida, a 28-year-old woman allegedly posed as a student so she could pressure high schoolers into following her on Instagram.

The suspect filmed parts of her stunt and later recorded her own arrest.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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