3-Year-Old Accosted by TSA Agent; What Would You Do?

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Mandy SimonAs if traveling with toddlers wasn't bad enough, now we have to worry about them being traumatized by TSA agents?

It's heart-wrenching to watch -- the video of 3-year-old Mandy Simon being aggressively patted down by a TSA employee at the airport as she screams and fights them.

While it happened a couple of years ago, the increase in complaints against TSA aggression has sent it viral recently as a prime example of what's wrong with the system. And how very wrong it is.

Sure, TSA has a job to do, and we want them to do it well, but safety first doesn't have to mean humanity is shelved.

What's seen on the video could have lasting implications for a child:

Note: The video has repeatedly been removed throughout the day, so if it becomes disabled, you can try a search for it if you want to see it all play out. But suffice it to say, it's a very brusque and overly aggressive way to handle a child who's clearly frightened. 

We start from the earliest ages telling our children NOT to let strangers touch them, to speak up when someone is touching them in what feels like an inappropriate or aggressive way. Then all of a sudden, they're getting on a plane to go see grandma, and some rude employee starts yanking on them and putting their hands all over their body.

I can only imagine how terrified that little girl was, and it breaks my heart to think of my own children being treated in such a manner.

But I can't help but wonder why the father was able to think quickly enough to capture the traumatic incident on his cell phone, but not do something to intervene. He doesn't seem like a fame-seeking opportunist like John Tyner -- the "Don't Touch My Junk" guy -- at all. In fact, he seems like really nice guy and a concerned father, and perhaps he tried to intervene beyond what we see on the short video.

I don't know and offer no judgment, but the situation still makes me wonder what I would have done ... what I could do in the same case.

I would hope I would be calm and assertive enough to stick up for my child and say, "Hey, I know you have a job to do here, but can we slow down and try this another way" or ask for a supervisor ... or something to stop it.

If it was that bad, I might just rip my child away and take my chances on not making my flight.

Or maybe I'd just stand there helpless in disbelief that this was all happening and accept it as what our travel world has come to.

I don't know, and I wish it was a scenario no one had to consider.

We see only 17 seconds in the video, but those 17 seconds are enough to make my typical fears of flying with children seem pretty insignificant.

What would you do if your child was being treated like this by TSA officials?


Image via YouTube


a mom's life, human rights, toddler activities, toddler health, safety

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nonmember avatar David

Your YouTube link is broken!

Lokis... LokisMama

Your video has been removed, apparently.

Kelly Flaherty McKinney

I would start crying uncontrollably whimpering, "Oh my God, my poor little baby. I will now have nightmares the rest of my life... and so will my child!"  to make them feel guilty!!!! 


Also, I traveled a lot this summer and discovered they pull black people (or african americans... never know what is politically correct) out of security line to search and scan their ticket. I asked the people they did this to if they get this sorry ass treatment all the time when flying, and all of them said, "YES!! Every flight. But I'm use to this!" I was disgusted and shocked by airline security treatment. 


I have a Seattle friend who is Jewish but looks middle Eastern. He gets padded down for every flight and he is head of international business for Microsoft and travels 90% of the month. He is padded down in airport security ALWAYS and never by a hot chick might I add. So not fair! ;) 

Cryst... Crystal8327

Not supprised. I am always pulled over and harassed and I am white and never had as much as a parking ticket. I do not think its always about race because from what I heard from a friend who is a tsa worker some people are on some kind of list for no apparent reason. Who knows why maybe because you once said publically you hate politicians. Half the people who are on the tsa watch list have never been in any kind of trouble, are not muslims, are not criminals. It really makes no sense so this 3 year old situation is no damn supprise to me at all. I was 18 when i started to get bothered which was right after 9/11. I am not tied to a damn thing i was a carefree typical 18 year old that just liked to travel during college breaks.

Fallaya Fallaya

This is disgusting.  Some person groping a 3 year old.  

nonmember avatar Dan

I've been giving this a lot of thought over the past couple of weeks. I don't think we will be flying any more.

We tell our children that no one other then my wife and I and the family doctor should ever be touching these areas.

While I don't have a problem making decisions like this for my children in circumstances like medical necessity - I have been unable to convince myself that it is appropriate for me to approve a random TSA worker to rub my child's genitals.

Even as a parent - I don't feel that I have an absolute right to allow this molestation to take place. You cannot, in advance determine if this will occur during your trip - and apparently there is a $10,000 fine if you try to back away from their groping. But back away I would - violently if necessary.

IMO, allowing the TSA molestation of a child who has not consented to this rubbing, IMO, is like those disgusting "parents" that appear in the news - aware of ongoing sexual abuse but not stopping it. If you assist with this molestation - doesn't your complacence make you an accessory to the crime?

vampi... vampire2007

this is horrible.

nonmember avatar Jeff

What a sad excuse of a father letting someone do that to his daughter. He should be ashamed of himself.

Proud... ProudSingleMum

Oh....I wouldn't let that happen. 

nonmember avatar Beddie

No, the father didn't stand by and do nothing. The mother had the girl in her arms, and the father running over there acting emotional would upset the girl even more.
He stayed calm, and taped it. If you back out of a pat down, you can be fined 10,000 dollars...

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