Stranger Danger: TSA Frisks Another Little Kid

I think most people would agree that little kids shouldn't be subjected to pat-downs at the airport, like little Mikey Hicks was last year. Well, it's happened again.

The TSA's latest victim? Six-year-old Anna Drexel, who was selected for a pat-down after she and her family went through the naked machines in a New Orleans airport last month. That's right: as though the naked machine scan isn't mortifying enough, little Anna got the full body pat-down.

[Anna's mother Serena Drexel] told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday that her daughter began to cry after the search and said, “I’m sorry mommy. I don’t know what I did wrong.”

[…][Serena] Drexel said she’s concerned because she and her husband Todd, a Bowling Green doctor, have taught their three daughters to be wary of strangers.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) responded quickly to this horrible story by introducing legislation yesterday (!) that would require parental consent before patting down a little kid. Rep. Chaffetz noted in a statement that TSA broke its own rules by patting down little Anna: “This conduct is in clear violation of TSA’s explicit policy not to conduct thorough pat-downs on children under the age of 13.” *

In fact, in that same statement, Rep. Chaffetz noted that something even worse happened last year:

In 2010, full committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote to [TSA Chairman John Pistole] after the screening of a four year-old disabled boy who was forced to hobble through a metal detector with neither his leg braces, nor his father’s assistance.

Currently pending before the House is another great bill: H.R. 1279: Aircraft Passenger Whole-Body Imaging Limitations Act of 2011. A bipartisan bill, H.R. 1279 strikes a nice balance between airline safety and protecting our privacy. The bill ensures that body scanners would only be used as a secondary screening by passengers that have failed a metal detector. If a passenger does fail the metal detector search, they will be given the option of a pat-down if they are uncomfortable with the scanner.

Sounds reasonable, right? We think so too. Let your Member of Congress know how you feel: tell them to cosponsor H.R. 1279!

UPDATE: The TSA disputes that a policy prohibiting pat-downs for people under 13 exists. Which, um, TSA, that's even worse.

Learn more about privacy: Subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Add a comment (2)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

So the ACLU has now abandoned the 4th. Amendment?

Jinxxxxxx

So the ACLU has now abandoned the 4th. Amendment?

Sign Up for Breaking News