We all want top security when we fly, sure — but what happens when your child is the target of those security procedures? Texas mom Jennifer Williamson turned to Facebook to share her outrage after her 13-year-old son received a very thorough pat-down at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
She posted a video of the pat-down and wrote, “We were treated like dogs because I requested they attempt to screen him in other ways per TSA rules. He has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and I didn’t want my child given a pat down like this.” Williamson says SPD makes her son sensitive to touch and she believes the TSA’s actions were excessive.
Williamson also writes, “Let me make something else crystal clear. He set off NO alarms. He physically did not alarm at all during screening, he passed through the detector just fine.”
And she says she didn’t even catch it all on tape. “We had two DFW police officers that were called and flanking him on each side. Somehow these power tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in.
The family (who officials say were detained in total for about 45 minutes) missed their flight and Williamson says even hours after the incident, her son was saying, ” I don’t know what I did. What did I do?”
Apparently, the young teen left his laptop in his book bag when it went through the scanner. It’s supposed to be removed and put in a separate bin when it goes through security. But even I (an adult!) have made this mistake. It should hardly signal some kind of security threat. Just let the kid put the laptop through again the correct way.
TSA did release a statement, saying that all approved procedures were followed to “resolve an alarm of the passenger’s laptop.” The statement continues to say, “In total, the pat-down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to mitigate the concerns of the mother.”
Apparently the full-body pat-down is part of new security measures that are the result of a 2015 study by the Inspector General’s Office of Homeland Security that revealed major lapses in airport security.
Honestly, I’m glad they are trying to improve security at our country’s airports, but it’s hard to watch that video without thinking, “I would never want that happening to my kid.”