TSA and Your Toddler
As summer approaches, people look forward to vacations, but there's now the nagging element of TSA security at airports. For those who don't think it's a big deal, it has been for many, such as a cancer patient who had his urine bag spilled all over him (and who had nothing to change into), numerous children forced to take off their tops, women claiming sexual harassment, TSA agents looking into diapers on babies' bottoms, and rape victims who aren't comfortable with strangers touching their private parts, because of traumatization of their experiences.
These are all horrible incidents, but one major question raised by parents is how does being subjected to this align with teaching kids not to let strangers touch their privates? Do you tell them it's okay for security? It's okay because it's a government official? You've done nothing wrong, but these men are going to invade your most personal space.
Kids can't be violated this way. Many parents believe no one has a right to touch their child that that way. Imagine having to stand there as someone looks down your baby's diaper or feels up into your 6 year-old daughter's pants. And by what qualification can TSA agents be allowed to do this? Unlike a doctor or a policeman, a background check and short job training session qualifies them to invade your space. The TSA administrator, John Pistole himself admitted that the procedure was uncomfortable and Hilary Clinton said she would avoid pat downs as much as possible. Many also believe these screenings are a violation of the 4th amendment and a possible health hazard as well.
So, for all of these problems, what’s the answer? Congressman Jason Chaffetz has introduced H.R.1510: TSA Screening of Minors Act, which proposes that children cannot be submitted to a pat down without parental consent. The congressmen also called for ending the "security theater" of body screening and pat downs for more practical solutions such as bomb-sniffing dogs and behavioral screening. No matter how seasoned searching passengers with their hands, the $15/hour TSA employee can't compare with the nose of a bomb-detection canine.
So as TSA becomes more of a perverted joke of people those lower than policemen and passengers have even more reasons to be deterred from flying other than baggage fees and fuel surcharges, hopefully this bill will make a difference for parents and Chaffetz will be taken seriously.