Kids and The "Extra" Security Measures

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin

I was going to stay away from this topic given many are writing about it – and I didn’t have much to add. If I was going to write about it, I was going to write about it in terms of the funny dialog it has generated between my consultants who fly in from four different parts of the country each week. They have had interesting experiences with the new regulations.  

But now, now I’m feeling a bit more connected to it. Why? G is going to fly with the girls in a few weeks. And, no one is touching my kids.  I don’t care what the perceived risk is.
What are the chances, you wonder, that it would happen?
Well, the female consultant – the retired Air Force Vet of about 60 yrs of age  – was given extra security after the scan revealed an unidentified something in her crotch area.  She was pulled out of line, made to feel like a criminal as she got her pat down to make sure she wasn’t smuggling something.  Even after they let her go on her way, she couldn’t help but feel like a criminal. The pat down reminded her of what cops would do as part of their arrest procedure. And the fact there had to be another woman in the room as the person patted her down made her reminiscent of a medical exam.  
In the end, one admitted that it was the lack of experience with the scanners that resulted in extra pat downs.  
She didn’t care – all she knew is how it made her feel. 
G and I have been talking about what to do with the girls. While our airport has neither the scanner or the new security procedures, we know coming back will have it. 
I have heard from the consultants who have researched this extensively that there are different procedures for kids. All I found on the TSA website was some video (which I will admit, I did not watch) and a blurb about how their goal is to make the kids feel comfortable with the experience. Ok, let me rephrase that like they did “to not feel uncomfortable with the experience”.  Yeah, that makes it sound less creepy.  
What do we tell our girls if they get pulled out for extra security? I mean, it’s not okay. It isn’t going to fix anything or prevent anything. How does he handle the situation without freaking them out or landing in jail?
To be honest, I’m not keen on them flying right now because of this issue. I don’t need either kid put through something that goes against what they have been taught in terms of strangers touching them inappropriately. These are not doctors – there is no good reason for it.  The world isn’t going to be safer having them being “extra security screened”. 
How do other parents feel about this issue especially if you plan on flying with your kids soon?
How are you going to approach it?

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Did you see this little drama?

  2. I was all prepared to say that I TOTALLY agree with the security measures…but then I viewed the video provided by the first commentor. Now THAT I am not okay with!

    I, unlike most, apparently agree with what they are doing. I mean come on, if they did not and a plane blew up due to some bomb strapped kid we would all be blaming them so they are kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    I think it should be tweaked so that if there are concerns a parent could go maybe into a private area and expose the child’s questioned area to one person. Similar to a doctors visit.

    I’m not sure what the answer is but if you really have a problem with it you could always drive.:)

  3. DCHY says:

    Seeing as how I am fiercely protective of my girls, I’d teach them to yell on top of their lungs, “Nobody can touch me down there – only doctors can!”.

    That should embarass the hell outta the screeners so they can again be reminded to be human and be courteous.

  4. Just me... says:

    This summer, before the new pat downs began, I flew back home to get DD.. Mistake – I wore an underwire bra.. After several minutes of being felt up by the TSA chick I asked if she wanted me to take it off and hand it to her right there? She took umbrage but waived me through..
    The TSA has gone too far.. Simply proving, yet again, if the government says it’s for your own good, it’s usually more for their own power….

  5. Aurore says:

    I think what that video shows, is a lack of ability to use common sense and profiling. Yup I said profiling. Your typical terrorist – not a small child. There is no way a kid should ever be subjected to that kind of a pat down and certainly not in public.

    As a parent, I would object vehemently to anyone searching my child that way without cause.

  6. Coy Pink says:

    Alec and I have been stewing about this in general and in specific regard to a trip we’ll be taking in February. I hate feeling like we don’t have a choice. “Here, random citizen, have the naked xray scan that may or may not be harmful or submit to a humiliating, invasive grope-down. Your choice!!” The helpless feeling of having to choose between two pretty crap options has me seeing red. If I was forced to choose right now, for my kids, I think I would pick the new naked xray. I hate the thought of them being seen naked by strangers and I hate the thought of them being zapped with unneeded radiation but I think this is the lesser traumatizing (to them) option.

    I’ll just say this: this situation just fucking sucks. No two ways about it.

  7. Hubman says:

    Racquel, you’re missing the point. No one doubts that something needs to be done to provide for airline security, it’s HOW they’re going about it, completely reactionary and with little regard for personal dignity or rights.

    And really, just drive instead? Asinine….

  8. I still contend that while having some security in place, they have gone too too far.

    They should be looking for dangerous people and behaviors more than things.

What do you think?

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