The parents of a 6-year-old girl who got a pat-down at a New Orleans airport security checkpoint earlier this month said on Wednesday that there should be different screening procedures for children.
Dr. Todd and Selena Drexel of Bowling Green, Kentucky, said that daughter Anna was confused by the security procedure, a video of which has been widely viewed since the family posted it on YouTube.
"Afterward, she broke down with crying, because she really didn't understand what she had done wrong," Todd Drexel said on Good Morning America. "We were struggling to explain it to her, because we had really stressed to her that it's not OK to be touched in certain places, and now she's been pat down in a public setting."
A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, which is responsible for screening passengers and cargo at airports, said that the search was in line with established procedures.
"TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that this officer followed proper current screening procedures," agency spokesman Jim Fotenos said in a statement.
He said that TSA Administrator John Pistole had directed the agency to explore "additional ways to focus its resources and move beyond a one-size fits all system while maintaining a high level of security."
Fotenos said TSA has been reviewing its policies in an effort "to streamline and improve the screening experience for low-risk populations, such as younger passengers."
The YouTube video shows Anna and Selena Drexel at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on April 5. A female TSA screener asks Anna to stand near her mother with her arms extended and does a patdown search similar to those routinely performed on adult travelers.
The screener runs her gloved hands along both sides of the Anna's head and along each arm; along the sides, front and back of the girl's torso, hips and thighs, and runs both hands along each leg from crotch to foot. The screener also slides her fingers along the inside of the neckline and waistband of the girl's shirt and jeans, explaining each step of the search as she goes.
A spokeswoman for the New Orleans airport declined to comment on the incident, referring questions to the TSA.
Selena Drexel said on Good Morning America that the family was heading home from a vacation, traveling with Anna as well as their two other daughters, ages 9 and 2. She said Anna was selected for a patdown, and that she asked that her daughter be rescanned instead but that her request was denied.
"They just said they were going to do what they were going to do," Selena Drexel said.
Asked why she posted a video of the incident on YouTube, Selena Drexel said that she wanted other people to see it so that she could get others' opinions about it.
"We felt that it was inappropriate," she said. "We struggle to teach our children to protect themselves, and to say 'no' and 'it's not OK for folks to touch me in those areas,' and here we are saying it's OK for these people."
Todd Drexel is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Bowling Green. A receptionist who answered the phone at his office on Wednesday said he was seeing patients and was not immediately available for comment.
Does Crichton smoke? Does a bear shit in the woods? -Rex
"What's the point in being an outlaw if you've got responsibilities?"
You know, it's unfortunate that the little girl was upset, but the parents had to know this was a possibility. If you're not ok with it, no one is forcing you to fly. You can't make an exception for little kids just because they might cry. What about a woman who was recently raped? I'm sure she doesn't want a stranger patting her down. If you're potentially going to pat down one person, the same has to go for everyone, and it's up to the parents to prepare their kids for it.
people are scared about airplane terrorists, but when the government and airline industry try to make it safe people whine and get fired up about invading their privacy. so annoying. last time i flew i had the full body scan and couldn't have cared less about it.
she obviously didnt have anything significant since she is 6 and like 50 pounds and tight clothes, she would have set off the metal detectors if there was anything metal obviously. There doing there job, but really
TSA is a fucked up organization that does almost nothing to keep us safe. The only service they provide this country is the employment of thousands of unmotivated idiots who are to dumb to push a garbage can around. A high school cheer squad could do a better job at airport security.
"is it a hoax or what?
even if it is, i say they leave you as a mod for real and you conduct a noob genocide"
"this is a sig550, it's designed to destroy anything in it's 400m trajectory; and there are over 500,000 of them kept in swiss homes." - why no one invades Switzerland.
the entire time i read, this was all i could think about
"i was so hungry i ate the Eucharist" -uncle.badness
take a shit in the shadow of the valley of death
"If this statement is not a homeless cardboard box man-orgy, then it is a shrimp." -Arabian.
R.I.P CR Johnson 2/24/10
Plus, it would be stupid not to subject children to this test. It's more likely terrorist would put their bombs on children as they don't get checked.
imagine if your dick was so long you could wear it as a belt. Ive always had this stupid thought that a girl would come up to rub it because it was such a nice belt. Then you would get a boner and it would whip out and slap her.Just a thought. -radtad
there is no problem with this, if she comes up positive on the scan then the airport has the right to search her. she obviously was not molested or anything, whats the deal? id be pissed off is someone blew up my plane.
"mine just knows afterbang involves no cuddling" - dbchili
They aren't trained federal agents. They are $10 an hour employees. The TSA is a fucking joke. When real Govt organizations (US Customs, FBI etc...) have to spend time investigating TSA employees and their actions then something is seriously wrong.
I got kicked out of Barnes & Nobles for putting all the bibles in the fiction section.
no one should be surprised. EVERYONE can get searched. as said before, you don't have to fly. there are other means of transportation. jesus, "my rights this" "my rights are being violated!" yeah so fucking what. times change, it's how things are. you don't want your big 'ol titties or children patted then DRIVE. the terrorists have won. they made all our lives now a tad more uncomfortable with beefed up security. deal with it.
The 4th amendment states that it "guards against unreasonable searches and seizures" In an airport no search is unreasonable, therefore they fully had the right to search the kid. I'm sure when you buy a plane ticket it states that the purchaser is subject to airport security. Completely legal and justified.
And I'm Canadian so obviously I had to look it up you fetus
karmaloop.com or plndr.com - Rep Code: Collinder (For 20% Off)
no but you still cannot get through security with anything dangerous, can you? and yes there are a ton of incidents the TSA gets investigated for. hardly anything you see on the news goes without punishment for more than a week.
It's absolutely not an unreasonable search. The little kid deserves to be searched just as much as the brown guy with the beard. This is what stereotypes are. The airport security workers can check whomever they want. Also, the fact that the scanner went off (didn't show this but you can tell because the mother wants to kid to go through again) gives security REASON to check the kid. These parents seriously have no argument. They bought the plane tickets and they should have explained to the child before hand that there was possibility of a search. I have no sympathy for these people! Like it was said before, these people wanted to fly, therefore they need to comply to the same rules of flying as everyone else has to. If you don't want your child to be pat down, then drive so you don't have to deal with security.
karmaloop.com or plndr.com - Rep Code: Collinder (For 20% Off)
what if a terrorist was using a child to carry his/her weapon onto a plane? every scenario is possible, therefore everybody is subject to search. if a terrorist fits the description of a stereotypical terrorist, then why wouldn't he leave the job in someone else's hands or use someone to his advantage who is so innocent that you would never think of searching them? this is why these searches are appropriate.
imagine instead the headline was "litle girl is carrying mommy and daddies weapon in airport!!!!!11"
then what is the world going to say about searching 6 year olds?
The joy I get from skiing, that's worth dying for - RIP CR Johnson
I can see the taboo about searching a kid so young, but personally I don't see any problem here. The security guard explained every detail of how she was going to search the girl to the mom and told the girl what was happening as well. It seemed like everything was done very professionally.