Friday, April 15, 2011

To Be Touched or Not To Be Touched…Isn’t That the Question?

If you’re a traveler, or at least in my case, someone who loves to travel but needs more funding to do so, you are at some point going to make your way through a busy airport. (I’m sure many of you already know where this post is going).

With recent breaking news about two children being frisked by TSA agents, I cannot help but be bothered by this. Not that this is “new” news by any means, but seeing it reoccur in the media sparks a major concern for me.

Although I don’t have any children of my own, it bothers me to see these 6-7-8 year old kids being patted down like this. As many have argued, we teach children not to allow adults to touch them, yet, when we go through an airport, it suddenly becomes “okay” for an airport security official to do so. I don’t know how many times my mother told me to never let anyone touch me in any way that made me feel uncomfortable. Is this not sending mixed messages to these kids? I’m fairly certain that a six-year old child is not going to understand why 1) she/he is being pulled out of line to be frisked and 2) why some stranger is touching she/he when the parents have told them never to let anyone touch them in such a way.

I am all for being safe when it comes to flying and understand that in the world we’re living in, it is a necessity to take certain precautions, whether we like them or not; however, when it comes to small children being put through a scanner and then “randomly” pulled out of line for a pat-down, I think it is unacceptable.

In the instance of one 8-year old boy who was flying to Disneyland with his family, he was pulled out of line, frisked, and immediately asked his mother if he was a “bad person.” He was also worried that he wouldn’t be able to go to Disneyland because of what happened. That is horrible to make a child feel that way!

As an adult, I have no qualms walking through that scanner. Whoever is sitting behind that little screen may not like what they see as I’m no skinny Minnie, but it sure beats being touched or groped. Does anyone remember the woman who had to remove her artificial breast when asked by a TSA agent? Or the TSA agent who busted a man’s urinary bag because he didn’t care to listen to the man’s insistence that he be careful when patting him down?

A woman in my state reported to the news that when she flew out of our local airport, she would make sure to wear pants next time instead of a skirt. What does that tell you? I’m sorry but no one is sticking their hands between my legs when I’m wearing a skirt. You don’t go to the airport to be touched in such a way and it aggravates me that people like these agents are capable of doing and asking such things.

All that aside, and back to issue of young children, I understand that new discussion is being brought about in regards to how agents “frisk” these children. As far as I’m concerned, bring the parent back with the child and let them stand there as they pat these kids down. At least the child would feel more comfortable with the parent standing right there reassuring them that everything is okay. No young child wants to be pulled aside, away from its parents like that. I don’t care if it is just a few short feet away or not.

Obviously, this issue is not keeping me from flying. In fact, I’ll be flying to Miami in two weeks for a family cruise, which by the way, I’m very excited. I’m just curious to see how things will go while I’m going through security. Hopefully, I’ll just walk right into that scanner and walk right out. If not, trust me…you guys will know about it.

So I ask, what is your take on all of this? Do you mind the full-body pat downs? How would you react if your child was chosen for one?


Meri said...

I don't have children, so I can't say if it would bother me or not. My own opinion is that I'm not convinced the new restrictions are helping much, but they also don't really bother me either. The most upset I've ever gotten at an airport was when I had to get rid of an unopened bottle of eye drops that was within the allowed size. I can't remember what they said, but they were crazy expensive and I needed them. ARgh!

Anonymous said...

I feel like the pat down for children should be a no go. I completely 100% agree with necessary precautions being taken based on the world we live in, and Im glad such precautions, like the full body scanners, are in place.
However, I feel the pat down just opens the doors for TSA agents with wrong intentions to act out of line and get away with the premise that "they are doing their job". Suppose one of those agents is a pedophile who hasn't been convicted/found out yet? I know it sounds far fetched, but its not completely crazy.

On a lighter note woohoo for the cruise! Where are you headed to?

Nicole said...

I'm going to Grand Cayman, Isla Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. I've been to all these great destinations before, except Isla Roatan (in Honduras). I'm so excited though! We've taken numerous cruises and they are just simply fabulous!

The whole thing with the eyedrops, yeah that would have aggravated me to no end! I too don't have kids but it does bother me that these small kids are getting patted down the way that they are.

Nik said...

I say: Hands off!!!! There has got to be a better way to conduct safety sweeps at airports.

Post a Comment