A Texas mother who said she posed as her daughter to sneak into a middle school to expose security flaws was arrested Friday.
Casey Garcia was arrested in connection with a 2017 traffic violation and booked on additional charges of criminal trespass and tampering with a government document, according to El Paso County jail records. Her bond for the three charges was set at nearly $8,000, and she was released later Friday.
Garcia on Wednesday posted a video to YouTube showing her entering Ann M. Garcia-Enriquez Middle School and attending her daughter classes, wearing a hoodie, a mask and thick black glasses.
The mom, who says she is 30, said in the video that she greeted the school’s principal and other staff members, ate lunch without her mask on and made it to the last period before anyone noticed she was not in fact her 13-year-old daughter.
The video amassed more than 270,000 views, with some commenters criticizing the school’s staff for not paying attention and others accusing Garcia of attempting a “creepy” stunt for video views.
On Thursday, Garcia took to YouTube again to defend herself.
She said she embarked on the “social experiment” to “prove a point.”
“We need better security at our schools — this is what I tried to prove,” Garcia said. “I kind of feel that I proved it.”
“There have been one too many mass shootings,” she added, arguing that schools should have metal detectors and possibly ban backpacks.
Garcia said she purposefully didn’t name the school and hadn’t wanted to call its staff out specifically, but hoped to show that security is lacking at most schools. She said the staff at the school were too preoccupied with asking her to put away her phone and tending to remote students to realize she was an adult.
“I mean, I’m no spring chicken,” Garcia said. “But it wasn’t hard, and I made it to all seven periods.” Garcia’s jail records show she is under 5 feet tall and weighs 105 pounds.
In an email to parents that San Elizario Independent School District Superintendent Jeannie Meza-Chavez shared with NBC News on Monday, Meza-Chavez said that while “there was a breach in security, all of our students are safe.”
“An individual associated as a parent with the school was involved in the incident and posted a video regarding the situation. I want to reassure you that our security measures are being reviewed and evaluated not only at the school where the incident occurred but all schools and facilities in the district,” Meza-Chavez wrote.
She told parents that the district had contacted authorities and would be pursuing a legal case “as well as any other options available to address the issue.”
Garcia recorded police approaching her house Friday and posted the video on YouTube. In it, she told police she was recording and repeatedly informs them she is not resisting arrest.
“Did you guys see the video,” she asks officers. One says he has not. “So I posed as a seventh grader,” Garcia tells the officers. “And it went viral.”
Garcia did not immediately return NBC News’ request for comment.