Hands off our dignity

TSA agents stoop to frightening children in the name of safety

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Have you just gotten rudely frisked or groped by an airport security agent?

There’s an app for that.

With the boom in application software and widgets for mobile devices – and the predictably steady flow of air-travel complaints – we’re surprised no one has hit upon this sooner. A new app, launched Monday by a Sikh advocacy group, allows air passengers to immediately report and document incidents in which they feel they have been mistreated by Transportation Security Administration employees.

Will it catch on? If the TSA continues its outrageous tradition of uneven security enforcement, the app’s business could skyrocket.

We’ll point out just two of the TSA’s most recent assaults on dignity and common sense:

• A family missed its April 23 flight from New York City to Florida because agents decided the family’s 7-year-old daughter, who has cerebral palsy, was somehow a security risk.

The girl wears metal braces and uses crutches, so she couldn’t pass through a metal detector. Instead, agents aggressively handled her without even attempting to make her feel at ease – traumatizing the girl and infuriating her parents.

• In Wichita, Kan., a woman and her 4-year-old granddaughter had successfully passed through airport security. But while the grandmother awaited a pat-down after tripping an alarm, the girl innocently ran over to quickly hug Grandma.

That’s when TSA agents insisted on a pat-down for the 4-year-old – a little girl who had just learned about “stranger danger” in school and how people you don’t know shouldn’t touch you.

Terrified, the girl ran – prompting shouts from the TSA, according to the grandmother, that if her family couldn’t grab the girl, they would shut down the entire airport.

Oh, and we should add that the little girl had nightmares about the incident for days.

There’s an initial absurdity in searching children for weapons or explosives at an airport. But we’re dealing with enemies who aren’t above using children as unwitting tools to perpetrate horrific terrorist acts. The TSA supposedly has special search protocols for children ages 12 and younger.

So why doesn’t the TSA have any special protocols governing sensitivity?

At airports we’re peered at, poked at and manhandled in demeaning ways so myriad that a website called “TSA Goons” was started last year to help keep track of it all.

But children and people with disabilities are among our most fragile Americans, and they require especially respectful treatment when it comes to airport screenings.

If these ham-handed TSA agents can’t even summon an ounce of compassion toward adults, how on Earth are they going to go the extra mile to convey friendly, calming authority to children?

Can’t agents be trained to provide some humanity during often arduous airport screenings?

The TSA might think that groping us for contraband makes us more secure, but in some ways it actually makes us feel even more insecure.

While they’re searching, they should keep their hands off our dignity.

Comments (9) Add comment
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TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/01/12 - 11:24 pm
5
0
This is what happens when

This is what happens when people give up their freedoms out of fear, hoping for safety.

What's worse is that the security at airports are only for show, theater as experts like to call it.

I wonder how may people are going to say "When I walk into clubs/bars or sporting events, we get patted down. I have no problem with the TSA doing the same"?

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 05/01/12 - 11:53 pm
1
2
The government knows what is

The government knows what is best for us and if we must give up freedoms for safety,then so be it! the governnent thinks we need it so we need it. Power to the government!

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/02/12 - 03:36 am
2
1
tsagoons.com seems to be

tsagoons.com seems to be registered to LAWYERNETWORKLLC.COM. They also have dogmurderers.com and doghomocide.com(for people who have had their dogs shot by police officers) and immigrationattorney.com (for help with green cards and citizenship issues). It sounds like iffy lawyers trying to drum up business. I'm sure they're thankful for the AC giving them a free plug.

FriedFacts
61
Points
FriedFacts 05/02/12 - 04:56 am
0
0
I say we have a worse problem
Unpublished

I say we have a worse problem concerning sensitivity right here with Richmond County law enforcement when they handcuff and take to jail a 72 year old and a minister, along with others, outside the Augusta National.

FriedFacts
61
Points
FriedFacts 05/02/12 - 06:10 am
0
0
The prices in aiport bars are
Unpublished

The prices in aiport bars are enough to tick me off. But the patdown is easier after a few drinks...almost fun.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 05/02/12 - 07:33 am
0
0
No worries. President just

No worries. President just announced AQ was destroyed or on the edge of defeat - both terms have been used recently.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/02/12 - 09:27 am
3
0
Desertcat: Did Obama put on a

Desertcat: Did Obama put on a pilot uniform, land on an aircraft carrier with a big banner that says "Mission Accomplished!"? Is that how we know AQ was destroyed?

KSL
135498
Points
KSL 05/02/12 - 10:01 am
1
1
Nope, he was wearing a golf

Nope, he was wearing a golf shirt because he had been playing golf.

For that matter, how do we know ob is dead?

KSL
135498
Points
KSL 05/02/12 - 10:06 am
0
2
And isn't it our current

And isn't it our current state department that is declaring the demise of ac?

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 05/02/12 - 02:49 pm
1
0
This is what you get when you

This is what you get when you federalize AND unionize.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 05/02/12 - 03:50 pm
1
0
Yesterday and last week at a

Yesterday and last week at a fund raiser. Flew into AF yesterday to say we are on the verge of defeating AQ in a nationally televised speech. Transcript of the speech, and verbage from fund raising speech have been published on numerous websites to include www.armytimes.com. He didn't mention the threat poised by other islamic terrorist groups and focused on AQ. Similarly, President Bush was only speaking of the defeat of Saddam's government and organized conventional military in his speech.

One President was on target in his speech, but misguided on the insurgent, Iran backed para-military and AQ supported threat awaiting us in Iraq. We paid a huge price against the latter. The other focused on what's happening to AQ, and ignored the remaining radical islamic terrorist threat to the US in his speech. The agreement with AF will do little to reduce that threat.

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