The TSA is at it again. A 7-year-old with cerebral palsy is the latest child to be treated like a terrorist when all she wanted to do was get on an airplane with her family. And the way Dina Frank's dad tells it, the very rules the agency put into place last year to make parents feel better are still being ignored.
Remember that major announcement last year? The TSA told us they were going to give our kids a break on the invasive screenings and actually ... wait for it ... talk to us, the parents! Maybe that would work; if they actually listened to what parents like Dr. Joshua Frank have to say.
Joshua, a pediatrician, said he tried to explain to agents that his daughter is developmentally disabled and frightened by screening procedures. He tried to get them to talk to her (you know, like a human being!). Instead, he says the agents were aggressive and made patting down his little girl, with her crutches and orthotics, into a horrible ordeal. She was finally let through the main screening after an inspection of her crutches, only to be yanked BACK to be patted down ... causing the family to miss their flight and more or less terrifying this poor kid.
Now let's think about this for a minute here. Who knows a child best? Duh! Parents are always the go-to for any kid, but when you add something like cerebral palsy, you up the need to lean on Mom and Dad.
Parents aren't just a special needs child's best advocate -- although Dr. Frank speaking out on Dina's behalf is proof of what these parents have to do every day to fight for their kids. They are also an incredible resource for folks in the general public who encounter these kids in the course of a day's work. I know I've taken cues from Moms and Dads countless times as a reporter for the local paper.
So why isn't the TSA taking advantage of this resource? Why are there still agents like the ones who ignored Dr. Frank and made Dina's trip into an ordeal?
It would keep them from looking like idiots in the press time and time again. And it would just plain make their jobs easier! And then there is that rule change they were talking about ... take a look:
Do you have a TSA horror story? What happened?
Image via Pylon757/Flickr