snopes.com

snopes.com (http://message.snopes.com/index.php)
-   Social Studies (http://message.snopes.com/forumdisplay.php?f=64)
-   -   TSA agents detain child in a wheelchair (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=84403)

Sue 21 February 2013 10:43 PM

TSA agents detain child in a wheelchair
 
The Transportation Security Administration has apologized to a Missouri family after a troubling video of agents detaining a toddler in a wheelchair was posted on YouTube.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2733448.html

I wonder if that apology would have been forthcoming had the family not taken that video and had it not "gone viral".

geminilee 21 February 2013 10:51 PM

"This is about the worst situation you can imagine."

No, it really isn't. Either I have a much better imagination than this guy, he has led a very sheltered life, or both. It is not even in my top 10. Heck, having a kid with spina bifida in the first place ranks higher on my list than this.

Mickey Blue 21 February 2013 10:55 PM

If you are only going to search people who 'look' like terrorists you may as well skip the searches completely.

I have very few good things to say about the TSA, but "we need to profile more" is not an argument I can support.

wanderwoman 21 February 2013 10:55 PM

Well, I'm probably going to go against the grain here. :)

First of all, the phrase "wheelchair bound" is like nails on a chalkboard to me. She uses a wheelchair to get around. She is bound to the wheelchair, only to the extent that she needs help sitting up in it.

Secondly, how much flack do you think the TSA is going to get when they allow someone to blow up a child in a wheelchair because that was the best way to get the bomb onto the plane?

The little girl was upset, so obviously the agent involved could have used more finesse. But I can't fault them for doing their job.

Quote:

“They treated [Lucy] like a criminal,” the toddler's dad, an attorney who works with the elderly and disabled, said in an interview with Fox News. “And by extension they were treating us as criminals.”
Who are they supposed to search, then? If kids in wheelchairs are exempted, how long before the criminals figure out that a kid in a wheelchair is the best way to get a bomb on a plane?

ETA: Kind of double spanked. Not so much against the grain after all then. :D

Mickey Blue 21 February 2013 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wanderwoman (Post 1715431)
Who are they supposed to search, then?

Brown people, maybe Obama supporters..

Sue 21 February 2013 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wanderwoman (Post 1715431)

The little girl was upset, so obviously the agent involved could have used more finesse. But I can't fault them for doing their job.

According to the TSA itself though they weren't doing their job properly and for that they should be faulted. They lied to the parents and they did not follow proper procedures for handling a child or a child in a wheelchair.

BrokenBiscuit 21 February 2013 11:00 PM

Oh dear. I think TSA are paranoid, but you've got to wonder if it would've been so scary to her if her parents hadn't made it a big deal. It's far from the worst thing in the world. A lot of people have had extra security checks. My 79 year old grandmother too. It happens.

wanderwoman 21 February 2013 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sue (Post 1715434)
According to the TSA itself though they weren't doing their job properly and for that they should be faulted. They lied to the parents and they did not follow proper procedures for handling a child or a child in a wheelchair.

Like I said, they could have used more finesse. However, the parents showed even less class by making this a "feel sorry for my poor handicapped child" media event, IMO.

geminilee 21 February 2013 11:10 PM

Watching the video, all I could think is why doesn't the mother take a second to reassure and calm her obviously upset child? That probably would have gone a long way toward making the girl a bit less scared.

wanderwoman 21 February 2013 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by geminilee (Post 1715438)
Watching the video, all I could think is why doesn't the mother take a second to reassure and calm her obviously upset child? That probably would have gone a long way toward making the girl a bit less scared.

Absolutely. Were the parents completely ignorant about what happens when people board a plane these days? Why didn't they prepare and comfort the child instead of filming her?

The TSA doesn't know their child. The parents are the ones who are supposed know their child and do what it takes to make her comfortable. If I had been the mother, I would have absolutely stepped in and told the TSA agents how to make this more comfortable for my child. I wouldn't have stood back and filmed it.

Beachlife! 21 February 2013 11:24 PM

I do not think this family are terrorists or have terrorist ties.

But, if I were a terrorist organization looking to hijack another plane, this is exactly the kind of thing I'd do. Send some improbable group through security, put up a huge stink if they get checked too much, then try it again and see if the TSA will back off leaving a hole in security.

The problem the TSA has is that if they seriously think there is still a threat they are going to have to leave no hole in security. And that is and will continue to be ugly for PR.

Morgaine 21 February 2013 11:30 PM

I can't pull up the video but they may have not been allowed to comfort her. I had a family member flying with her elderly parent a few years ago. The parent was pulled out & she was not allowed anywhere near him. Given that this parent has a hearing loss, there was some concern that he would answer a question incorrectly because he misunderstood. He also has mild balance issues so she was afraid they would not be as careful as they might need to be & he would fall.

geminilee 21 February 2013 11:33 PM

Probably not quite as ugly as a failure on their part.

They are damned if they do, damned if they don't. People freak out about things like this, but would howl for blood if there were another 9/11.

ETA: The mother was within 2 feet of the child. Plenty close enough to tell her that it was alrightand there was nothing to be afraid of.

wanderwoman 21 February 2013 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morgaine (Post 1715447)
I can't pull up the video but they may have not been allowed to comfort her. I had a family member flying with her elderly parent a few years ago. The parent was pulled out & she was not allowed anywhere near him. Given that this parent has a hearing loss, there was some concern that he would answer a question incorrectly because he misunderstood. He also has mild balance issues so she was afraid they would not be as careful as they might need to be & he would fall.

The child is only 3. The best thing to do would have been to carry her through security and let her wheelchair be examined separately. If she were too big to carry, I would be more sympathetic. They needed to read up and maybe even call ahead to inform themselves about security measures so that they could have made this more comfortable for their daughter. That is their job, not the TSAs.

Morgaine 21 February 2013 11:38 PM

I'm not arguing with you but I think they would not have been allowed to carry her through security. They would have had to hand her off to a TSA agent who would carry her through. We flew when my youngest was 2 & she had to walk through security herself. I couldn't even hold her hand as we walked through together.

Hero_Mike 21 February 2013 11:38 PM

Ever wonder what occupations, besides teaching, attract bullies, tin-pot dictators, and the power hungry? Security guards. Of all sorts. Including the incredibly awesome TSA, who have proven, time and again, that they are stupid, bigoted, and incapable of even following their own rules. Notice that the x-ray backscatter machines are gone? Did they actually do anything but give TSA agents a way to view people through their clothing, and save the images for later? And yet, we are supposed to trust these people?

Gayle 21 February 2013 11:54 PM

I tend to over prepare when travelling, but if you have a child in a wheelchair, why wouldn't you contact the airport in advance to find out what the process would be?

Sue 21 February 2013 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gayle (Post 1715462)
I tend to over prepare when travelling, but if you have a child in a wheelchair, why wouldn't you contact the airport in advance to find out what the process would be?

I'd agree that this makes sense if the procedure is that every child in a wheelchair is going to get detained and put through this process but I gather that this is a random thing and does not happen often. Preparing a 3 yr old for something that is unlikely to happen isn't something I think most parents would think to do.

wanderwoman 21 February 2013 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morgaine (Post 1715453)
I'm not arguing with you but I think they would not have been allowed to carry her through security. They would have had to hand her off to a TSA agent who would carry her through. We flew when my youngest was 2 & she had to walk through security herself. I couldn't even hold her hand as we walked through together.

And yet, I'm sure you comforted her and told her it would be ok rather than filming her crying and posting it on the internet. That is what a parent is supposed to do.

I don't like flying and I avoid it because of what it involves these days (and that includes so much more than the annoying security measures). However, if I choose to fly, I know what I have to put up with. Same for these parents. They needed to help their little girl through this, not film it and post it on the internet.

UEL 21 February 2013 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by geminilee (Post 1715429)
"This is about the worst situation you can imagine."

No, it really isn't. Either I have a much better imagination than this guy, he has led a very sheltered life, or both. It is not even in my top 10. Heck, having a kid with spina bifida in the first place ranks higher on my list than this.

You've never had a child traumatised by an event. You scoff, but when my daughter was forcibly placed on a ventilator and she was screaming her head off fighting the medical people, and I was standing there helpless to help them, or helpless to comfort her at that time, it sure felt like the worst thing in the world. But, I suppose having a child dying of starvation in Africa is worse, so I should not have felt like that.

You obviously have led a sheltered life if you don't know the feelings of a parent for a child. (using your words, I actually don't think that way about you. You are quite well rounded. No snark ;))

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mickey Blue (Post 1715430)
If you are only going to search people who 'look' like terrorists you may as well skip the searches completely.

I have very few good things to say about the TSA, but "we need to profile more" is not an argument I can support.

Sorry, I did not see those words in the article. Did I miss it?

Quote:

Originally Posted by wanderwoman (Post 1715431)
First of all, the phrase "wheelchair bound" is like nails on a chalkboard to me. She uses a wheelchair to get around. She is bound to the wheelchair, only to the extent that she needs help sitting up in it.

That is the writer's words. I don't think it was purposefully done by the parents.

Quote:

The little girl was upset, so obviously the agent involved could have used more finesse. But I can't fault them for doing their job.
If they did do their job. According to the article.

Quote:

In response, the TSA issued an apology this week, admitting that its agents behaved inappropriately during the incident.

“TSA regrets inaccurate guidance was provided to this family during screening and offers its apology,” a TSA spokesman told Fox News, adding that it is acceptable for passengers to film TSA procedures as long as the screening process is not interfered with.
The family was not to have contact with the child (in place since 2001, if not in policy, at least in practice) while going through screening. They then pulled the "you can't do that here". They may have been screening, but they weren't effectively doing their job. One might say that the Rodney King officers were doing their job. Excessively, but you could not fault them for doing the job. (this is hyperbole. I do find it problematic that some professions are being exempt from scrutiny when they deviate from established procedures, while others are not)

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrokenBiscuit (Post 1715435)
Oh dear. I think TSA are paranoid, but you've got to wonder if it would've been so scary to her if her parents hadn't made it a big deal. It's far from the worst thing in the world. A lot of people have had extra security checks. My 79 year old grandmother too. It happens.

I suspect the same thing. No apology was forthcoming until there was video of them doing the screening improperly. However, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt that perhaps an apology would have been coming, but the video sped up the process a bit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wanderwoman (Post 1715437)
Like I said, they could have used more finesse. However, the parents showed even less class by making this a "feel sorry for my poor handicapped child" media event, IMO.

I don't see it. They are not asking for money, they are asking that TSA people do their jobs properly. I don't see them looking for any exemption.

Quote:

Originally Posted by geminilee (Post 1715449)
Probably not quite as ugly as a failure on their part.

They are damned if they do, damned if they don't. People freak out about things like this, but would howl for blood if there were another 9/11.

ETA: The mother was within 2 feet of the child. Plenty close enough to tell her that it was alrightand there was nothing to be afraid of.

Perhaps she was. In '08, I was leaving from Lubbock Texas and a family was flying out too. The children were put through the screening first, and one of them pinged (whether it was random or they triggered something). The wands came out, and eventually they had to do the private search. They found a female agent (little girl was the subject) went behind the curtain. The girl did not want to go. But Mom and Dad could not cross because until that case was taken care of, no more passengers could go through. Mommy was hollering that it was OK and that she would be there, but TSA did not allow anyone through. I doubt that even if Mommy was through they would have allowed her near the search. I was putting on my shoes at the time, and was a mere 2 metres from the whole scene. Made me uncomfortable.


My thoughts are simple. If it was a case of "Agents following tested and true policies and procedures caused a bit of anguish for a handicapped girl", then I would have a bit more sympathy. But given my experience in '08, and the fact that the TSA has apologised for not following policy and procedure as laid out by them, I feel that they are the bullies in this situation, and the family only used the media to get their point across.


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.