Should the TSA pat down kids?

By | April 15th, 2011

If you haven’t seen this video yet, you should. This is six-year-old Anna Drexel getting a pat-down in New Orleans earlier this month. The TSA is taking a lot of heat for the rather thorough screening of this young lady.

Alright, maybe TSA Administrator John Pistole’s reaction was a little inappropriate, calling the screener to basically congratulate her on a job well done.


And maybe the TSA’s overall response was somewhat predictable: Defend something that, for many parents, is indefensible, and then admit that it’s wrong — although not in so many words.

Right or wrong, we are really left with one question: Is it appropriate to pat down children, who pose virtually no terrorist risk?

The Anna Drexel video looks wrong, from the perspective of this parent. So, so wrong.

But I can also see the TSA’s perspective. If you exempt children from aggressive screening, then where do you draw the line? At age 12? At 18?

Who else gets a pass? People in wheelchairs? On crutches? Passengers over 65?

It’s a slippery slope.

So if TSA moves to a more “risk-based” system (read: profiling) then who gets profiled and who doesn’t?

It’s an important question raised by an inept federal agency, and the answer could determine how safe air travel is in the future.

What do you think?



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