TSA Separates Mother and Child in Name of Security

By | October 16, 2009
Baggage is scanned using X-ray machines, passe...
Image via Wikipedia

Nic, from My Bottles Up, recounted a story of her recent experience at the airport in Atlanta. The story is very details and emotional, and you can read the full text here. We will try to summarize the important facts.

During the course of a trip through airport screening, Nic and her son Jackson set off the metal detector. Apparently, instead of letting them remove what she thought was the offending missed item and trying again, they sent her to wait for secondary screening. Apparently, there was no rush to do this screening, although Nic gives no indication as to how long she waited, other than being concerned about missing her flight and the fact there were multiple TSA agents not engaged in obvious activity.

Finally, another TSA agent asked to hold her son in order to search him…and actually walked away with the child, out of her sight. Now, this is a serious violation of TSA protocol, as well as common sense. Separating a young child from their mother is not a good idea.

The TSA responded to Chris Elliott, the columnist, on the subject. “TSA’s policy is that officers will not ask parents to do anything that would distance them from their children during the screening process. Our goal is to provide the highest level of security while ensuring that all passengers are treated with courtesy and respect. TSA is currently reviewing the circumstances involving the screening procedures for this family and will take appropriate action if necessary.

Chris has done all the legwork, and we look forward to a followup. Like a good journalist, he has requested a response from both sides. Nic’s response is highly emotional, exactly what we would expect of a mother who went through such a scare. A reporter must try to seek facts.

Regardless of what happened with this woman, any situation like this needs to be handled better, to avoid it becoming a firestorm, if nothing else.