As parents, we spend a lot of time teaching our kids who is and who is not allowed to touch them. In the interest of making it simple, we try to say only doctors and mommies/daddies (in certain circumstances) should be allowed, but are we now supposed to expand that list to TSA agents?
In the past few months, airport security has been making the news for their disturbing pat-downs, some of which have been on children as young as 3, and while this one is not as invasive, it's no less maddening. Why should a child this small possibly be subject to having their bum and waistband and crotch touched by a TSA agent?
There is just no reason for it. See the pat-down of the 6-year-old below for yourself:
To her credit, the child seems more amused than disturbed by the whole thing, but as a mom myself, I had a hard time putting myself in the poor mom's shoes. I would feel so helpless and furious.
Last year I had to watch my 64-year-old father get treated like a criminal by the JFK TSA agents, but to see it happen to my child would be too much to bear. I honestly think I would walk out of the airport and not let my kid be patted down. That may seem reactive to some, especially when this little girl seems totally calm and able to take it in stride, but the lack of control is what gets me.
There is no time EVER when I, as the parent, should feel like I have to let someone touch my child even when I don't want them to. I don't care what the situation is. Even in a doctor's office, I have the option to walk out. People have the option not to vaccinate or not to hospitalize or not to do any number of things because WE are the moms and dads. Our children have the right to say they don't want to be touched and then not BE touched.
Sure, there is the option not to fly, but for parents who live far from their families or want to ever go anywhere more than 5 hours away, a world without planes is not realistic. But the idea that I would have to compromise my basic principles and my child's as well just to get on a plane is pretty alarming.
Six-year-olds being groped? Is this really the world we want to raise our kids in?
Image via YouTube