The parents of a 6-year-old frisked by a Transportation Security Administration officer expressed their outrage today on “Good Morning America.”
Selena and Todd Drexel’s daughter, Anna, underwent a pat-down at the New Orleans airport after Selena Drexel’s request that the girl be rescanned was denied. Todd Drexel said his daughter “was upset and crying” because she wasn’t sure what she’d done wrong. The parents told “GMA” that they posted video of the incident on YouTube because they wanted other opinions.
Speaking from their home in Bowling Green, Ky., the Drexels said such screening procedures should not be used on children because it confuses them about what’s inappropriate touching by adults. “If we don’t find other ways, we’re then making them more vulnerable to people that would harm them in that manner,” Selena Drexel said.
The TSA said that it viewed the video and that the “officer followed proper current screening procedures.” But the agency is “exploring additional ways to focus its resources and move beyond a one-size-fits-all system.”
Of course, the TSA’s new screening procedures have been controversial from the get-go. Last year, scanners that can detect objects beneath clothing and stricter body pat-downs immediately sparked outrage from privacy groups. A national “opt out” day was organized before Thanksgiving 2010 to protest the scanners, and John Tyner’s declaration that “if you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested” became a viral battle cry for privacy groups. In November, video surfaced of a young, shirtless boy being searched in Salt Lake City.
Do you think the TSA should be allowed to pat down children, or do you think it should change its policy? Let us know in the comments.
Ruth Marcus: Don’t touch my junk? Grow up, America.