AirframeAS
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TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:18 pm

Oy vey.... Again, what happened to common sense and dignity? I thought the rule on patting down children under 12 was revised and more customer friendly.

The child had just learned about "stranger-danger" at her preschool and became hysterical, said her grandmother, after she was forced to undergo an airport-security pat-down and TSA agents shouted.

Strangers yelling at kids is not exactly a good idea.... I think the TSA failed in this one, although the TSA backs up the agents in this case. They always do.

Again, what is the rule on patting down children 12 and under?? I'm confused.... This looks like bait and switch to me.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...uschildairportscreeningkansas.html

The Transportation Security Administration is defending its agents, despite new procedures aimed at reducing pat-downs of children.

Ummm, okay..... Still, people should not scare children like that...let alone yell at them.

Isabella had just learned about "stranger danger" at school, her grandmother said, adding that the girl was afraid and unsure about what was going on.

"She started to cry, saying 'No I don't want to,' and when we tried talking to her she ran," Croft said. "They yelled, 'We are going to shut down the airport if you don't grab her.'"


Shutting down the airport is quite over-dramatic..... What is a 4 year old gonna do?!

How do we solve this problem and how are kids under 7 supposed to be treated? Thoughts?
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longhauler
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:53 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Thread starter):
Shutting down the airport is quite over-dramatic..... What is a 4 year old gonna do?!

It is not inconceivable that a weapon be passed to a toddler, only to have it passed back to the terrorist on the other side of security. Remember, it is not what the 4 year old can do, it is what the weapon he smuggled through can do.

Quoting AirframeAS (Thread starter):
How do we solve this problem and how are kids under 7 supposed to be treated? Thoughts?

In my opinion, this is the real issue. With present technology, what is the only acceptable way to "secure" a young traveler? Full body scan? X-ray? I do agree that a pat-down may not be acceptable.
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cmf
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:58 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Thread starter):
Shutting down the airport is quite over-dramatic..... What is a 4 year old gonna do?!

It is not what the 4 year old may do. It is what may have been transferred to her at the time she goes back to someone who hasn't been cleared.

Quoting AirframeAS (Thread starter):
How do we solve this problem and how are kids under 7 supposed to be treated? Thoughts?

Same way everyone else should be treated, with respect.

No doubt there are shortcomings.
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Mir
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:25 am

TSA did nothing wrong in wanting to pat her down - she'd had contact with someone who hadn't been cleared yet. That's not to say that the process of actually patting her down could have been done better, but this would hardly be the first incident that could apply to....

-Mir
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:06 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
In my opinion, this is the real issue. With present technology, what is the only acceptable way to "secure" a young traveler? Full body scan? X-ray? I do agree that a pat-down may not be acceptable.

The world isn't a secure place. We send them through a metal detector and let a TSA employee wand them down with a metal wand. We certainly don't let strangers grope them while they're crying.

In the twenty-first century, 3,000 people have died from aviation related terrorism. That's how many people have died in fatal car accidents in the last two weeks, many of whom were following every law on the book. If we were really concerned about our safety, maybe we would have written the blank check to state DOTs, not the TSA.
 
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:21 am

Yes, I will admit that conceivably a child can be used in some terrorist plot. But I feel like the TSA are just going through these checks blind as though they must thoroughly check 1 kid for every 100 that go through security without giving any thought to which child that should be. The TSA needs far more training than they have and they need to be able to openly profile. Yes TSA very well may have stopped another attack but in my opinion TSA is a joke, and this is from someone who has been through security throughtout the world 200+ times in the past 3 years
 
AirframeAS
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:45 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
Remember, it is not what the 4 year old can do, it is what the weapon he smuggled through can do.
Quoting cmf (Reply 2):
It is not what the 4 year old may do. It is what may have been transferred to her at the time she goes back to someone who hasn't been cleared.

I am very well aware of that. The point I was making is when a TSA agent YELLS at a child, that does not bode well with the parents and the TSA. Yelling at kids just scares them and creates a lot of misunderstanding.

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
TSA did nothing wrong in wanting to pat her down

Maybe. But again, what i find wrong is how the knee jerk overrection on the TSA agnet's part is what boggles my mind. Yelling at a child, again, is not acceptable!

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
ut this would hardly be the first incident that could apply to....

No one said it was the first.    The TSA terrified the child - full stop - in what triggered the incident to happen.
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Mir
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:33 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 6):
Yelling at a child, again, is not acceptable!

Depends. It should certainly not be the first course of action. However, if you need a child to do something, and previous attempts haven't worked, I can't really fault someone for yelling at them. Parents do it all the time.

-Mir
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AirframeAS
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:37 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 7):
Depends. It should certainly not be the first course of action. However, if you need a child to do something, and previous attempts haven't worked, I can't really fault someone for yelling at them. Parents do it all the time.

I see your point, but when a stranger like in this incident yells at a child, that promotes fear in the child. And the child will do anything to protect themselves from said fear, going to someone they know well in which this one child did in this case.
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Mir
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:58 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 8):
when a stranger like in this incident yells at a child, that promotes fear in the child. And the child will do anything to protect themselves from said fear, going to someone they know well in which this one child did in this case.

Except that the child went to her grandmother in the first place - that's what made the pat-down necessary. The yelling was because she didn't want to do the pat-down. I can't imagine it helped the situation, but it's not clear what options remained open to them.

The child certainly didn't do anything wrong (well, they broke TSA policy by making contact with someone who hadn't been cleared, but how are they supposed to know not to do that), but I'm not convinced that the TSA staff did something wrong as well. They might have, but they also might not.

-Mir
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AirframeAS
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:05 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 9):
but I'm not convinced that the TSA staff did something wrong as well.

Are you suggesting that a child being yelled at by the TSA staff was correct? But then you said this:

Quoting Mir (Reply 9):
The child certainly didn't do anything wrong (well, they broke TSA policy by making contact with someone who hadn't been cleared, but how are they supposed to know not to do that)

   The TSA agent triggered the situation. This could have been prevented had the TSA agent walked up to the parents or the grandmother and explain, politely, what was going on instead of getting all upset and angry at a 4 year old.

Lets put it this way, a TSA agent yelling at a 4 year old unprofessionally is more than likely to be acting like a 4 year old and should not be a TSA agent to begin with. After all, the TSA is doing two things: 1) Security and 2) Customer Service, as they say on their website.

So who is at fault? Both parties, but the blame lies mostly on the TSA agent who yelled at the kid. The TSA Agent needs a reality check. How would YOU feel if a TSA agent yelled at YOUR kid?

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 8):
And the child will do anything to protect themselves from said fear, going to someone they know well in which this one child did in this case.

   A 4 year old is not going to understand security measures and why...at all.
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Mir
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:35 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 10):
The TSA agent triggered the situation.

Not according to the article.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 10):
This could have been prevented had the TSA agent walked up to the parents or the grandmother and explain, politely, what was going on instead of getting all upset and angry at a 4 year old.

There is nothing in your article to suggest that this didn't happen. All it says is that the agents insisted she be patted down after hugging her grandmother. It was only after the girl didn't want to to do the pat-down that things escalated badly.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 10):
How would YOU feel if a TSA agent yelled at YOUR kid?

Depending on the circumstances, I might be okay with it. Like I said, there's a right way and a wrong way to go about this, and since the article doesn't offer any evidence that things were done incorrectly, I can't conclusively say that the TSA people did their job poorly.

-Mir
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AirframeAS
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:29 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 11):
Not according to the article.

Did you even read the article?? The article clearly states it:

Quoting Seattletimes.com (Reply website):
The grandmother of a 4-year-old girl who became hysterical during a security screening at a Kansas airport said Wednesday that the child was forced to undergo a pat-down after hugging her, with security agents yelling and calling the crying girl an uncooperative suspect.

This is the first paragraph taken from that article. Please, read the article.
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Quokkas
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:43 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 12):
The article clearly states

Operative words, "the grandmother ...said". Is there any independent corroboration?

We all know how easy it is for people to embellish the truth, if not exactly invent it, particularly on Facebook. The article does not state that the TSA yelled at the child but that they allegedly yelled at the mother and grandmother.

The article also states: "The TSA released a statement Tuesday saying it explained to the family why additional security procedures were necessary..."

So we have two versions of events. Toss a coin to see who you believe.
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:49 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
Toss a coin to see who you believe.

Not the TSA. Not by a long shot.

Meanwhile, I brought a bottle of water into the sterile area the other day, and didn't have to go through a single checkpoint to do it.
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:35 am

Quoting longhauler (Reply 1):
what is the only acceptable way to "secure" a young traveler? Full body scan? X-ray?

And sharing some good risk of cancer to this child – just because in the US of Paranoia, also every toddler is a security risk.  

What about closing down any aviation – just because any passenger, pilot, FA, suitcase, cargo, bird (which can have strapped on a explosive device, who knows?), etc, etc. is a potentially risk for security.

This is really unbelievable and it is also unbelivable that some here defend this child assault.
If an agent in Germany would have behaved like this, he/she would have lost his/her job and the crowd around them would have interfered immediately and helped the toddler!
Thank goodness, the last time we saw something like this was in the Nazi era. Even in comunist East Germany, in its darkest times, police didn't deal with toddlers in that way!

[Edited 2012-04-26 23:40:11]

[Edited 2012-04-27 00:00:10]
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Mir
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:01 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 12):
Did you even read the article??

Do you think I made up "All it says is that the agents insisted she be patted down after hugging her grandmother. It was only after the girl didn't want to to do the pat-down that things escalated badly."?

That comes from the third, fourth and fifth paragraphs.

-Mir
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Stealthz
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:38 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
The article does not state that the TSA yelled at the child but that they allegedly yelled at the mother and grandmother.


Yelling at anyone is unprofessional and unnecessary

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
"The TSA released a statement Tuesday saying it explained to the family why additional security procedures were necessary..."


From what I read I don't think the family had any issues on "why" the main issue seems to be the "how"?
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vt977
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:44 am

that's what happens well somebody with the intellect of a 1 day old is in charge of security
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Eagleboy
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:23 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
The article also states: "The TSA released a statement Tuesday saying it explained to the family why additional security procedures were necessary..."

Did they yell that information or calmly explain it in a non-threatening manner.

I go through TSA checks at least once a week over the last 4 years, they are rude, stand off-ish and bored. I have seen TSA staff being obnoxious to adults and kids. They barely watch the pax going through, they rely on pat-downs and scanners rather than decent training in people skills.

There is a big difference between stating something authoritatively and shouting at a crowd.
 
standby87
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:50 am

I do wonder what the Israelis at Tel Aviv think of stories like this.

Let's be honest, TLV security are not exactly polite, but they would never have let this situation happen.
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Quokkas
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:06 am

Quoting stealthz (Reply 17):
Yelling at anyone is unprofessional and unnecessary

Fully agree. Not only that, it is counter-productive.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 19):
Did they yell that information or calmly explain it in a non-threatening manner.

Who knows? While some posters claim that all TSA members are ignorant, illiterate savages others have indicated that they haven't met with any problems. As I said, there are two different versions of events.
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cmf
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:26 am

Quoting vt977 (Reply 18):
that's what happens well somebody with the intellect of a 1 day old is in charge of security

And when people with half that intellect think they know how it should be.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 19):
I go through TSA checks at least once a week over the last 4 years, they are rude, stand off-ish and bored. I have seen TSA staff being obnoxious to adults and kids.

That is not my experience. But I don't go in there with a chip on my shoulder.
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PanHAM
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:42 am

A four year old child is a "suspect" ???

Where is common sense in this matter? Don't these people have children themselves? Can't they understand that a small child does not understand this kind of abusement and is terrified by what is happening? Especially when she is yelled at and touched by starngers?

The parents should sue TSA over this incident. A simple check with a handheld wand would have done it. Only female TSA personell should be allowed to do that and they should calm down the child by talking to her.

The child showed normal behaviour for a 4 year old, the child cannot be blamed for running to her Grandma spontaneously. The reaction of TSA agents was plain dumb, reckless, without consideration and most certainly without a grain of common sense.

Now please don't tell me there are rules and regulations. Public servants here are taught not to obey rules and regulations that are against common sense or simply criminal. Traumatizing a four year old child is a criminal act, managers who enforce that or establish rules that make this possible should be kicked out instantly.
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AirframeAS
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:06 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 16):
Do you think I made up "All it says is that the agents insisted she be patted down after hugging her grandmother. It was only after the girl didn't want to to do the pat-down that things escalated badly."?

That comes from the third, fourth and fifth paragraphs.

So you went back and actually read the article.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 17):
Yelling at anyone is unprofessional and unnecessary

   As I said before, I am willing to bet that this is what triggered the whole incident.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 17):
From what I read I don't think the family had any issues on "why" the main issue seems to be the "how"?

Agreed.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 21):
Not only that, it is counter-productive.

Exactly! Especially with kids... they don't understand why and how at that age. They are told not to talk to strangers. This girl did exactly that, it seems, and got scared and went to the person she knew well. Yelling at kids, again, is NOT a good idea to do, period. Some people here seem to not able to grasp that at all.   

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 23):
Don't these people have children themselves? Can't they understand that a small child does not understand this kind of abusement and is terrified by what is happening? Especially when she is yelled at and touched by starngers?

That was my point all along. Common sense thrown out the window..... ridiculous!

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 23):
Now please don't tell me there are rules and regulations.

There are... LOL. But I wanted to know what ever happened to that rule about patting down kids under 12?! That got thrown out the window in this situation. Why?!
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PanHAM
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:09 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 24):
There are... LOL. But I wanted to know what ever happened to that rule about patting down kids under 12?! That got thrown out the window in this situation. Why?!

Of course there are rules and regulations, but quoting my sentence you have to show the following sentence as well.

I think "common sense" is the key here, common sense should override stupid rules and regulations and public servants shlould e encouraged to use common sense and not follow rules and regulaitons by the book.

There should be enough middle aged women among the TSA staff at any given check point who could have handled that situation, calming the child down.

Reading through the article and learning that after the ordeal a TSA officer even followed the family to the gate tops it off. An airport is not a prison camp and passengers are not inmates.

,
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B2468
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:19 am

In a situation where a properly trained TSA agent believes a young child might be a threat and require additional screening, why can't they take the child and the child's guardian to a private location to perform the screening, where the child can have a familiar face telling him/her that "it is okay for this stranger to touch you"? They can even perform the pat-down on the guardian first to demonstrate to the child that everything is okay and that the pat-down is not dangerous.

I am surprised that this isn't SOP, to perform a pat-down of a child in a private area under the supervision of the child's guardian, given how easily child molestation charges are thrown around today.

Children at that age have it drilled into their heads not to talk to strangers, and especially not to let strangers touch them. They have not yet developed the judgement skills to determine who is and isn't a threat.
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Eagleboy
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:37 am

I think incident is another example of how the USA has actually 'lost' the War on Terror on one level.
They are changing their society to deal with a perceived threat. I'm not saying the threat is not there but that the threat itself has completed its aims. The UK dealt with internal terrorism for nearly 30 years and never had to resort to such tactics.
 
Stealthz
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:58 am

Quoting B2468 (Reply 26):
"it is okay for this stranger to touch you"?

Because it isn't ...NOT EVER

There are other ways they could have determined if this child was a threat.

If they actually ever learn that there are other ways to determine there may be a threat they will not only be better at their jobs but there would likely be less threats!!
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PanHAM
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:07 am

Quoting B2468 (Reply 26):
In a situation where a properly trained TSA agent believes a young child might be a threat and require additiona

The assumption that a four year old child is a threat is so utterly stupid and ridiculous that any government agency that acts on such assumptions must be called a threat to society. If they really had to do it, a short move with a handheld metal detector would have done it. In a nice way, explaining and showing how that thing beeps.

Certainly not a pat down, this is child abuse and those who have authorized this should go on trial.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 27):
I think incident is another example of how the USA has actually 'lost' the War on Terror on one level. They are changing their society to deal with a perceived threat.

        

Safe to sy that in certain areas the US has transformed into an authoritarian state.
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javibi
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:39 am

Why didn't they make the mother and the child go back and through the metal detector again to rule out the possibility of a weapon being handed to the child when she went to her mom, instead of patting her down?

j
 
B2468
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:52 am

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 27):
I think incident is another example of how the USA has actually 'lost' the War on Terror

100% agree.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 28):
Quoting B2468 (Reply 26):
"it is okay for this stranger to touch you"?

Because it isn't ...NOT EVER
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 29):
The assumption that a four year old child is a threat is so utterly stupid and ridiculous that any government agency that acts on such assumptions must be called a threat to society.

Don't get me wrong, I am very much in agreement with your thoughts, and I abhor the TSA, and while TSA could have been done right, I think its creation and implementation has been done horribly wrong. However, it is possible that someone might use a child to smuggle a weapon on board an aircraft, and that is why I said a "properly trained TSA agent" determining if a child is a threat. A "properly trained" TSA agent will have gone through extensive training to determine threat levels as well as the ability to determine if a child is a threat or not, and receive compensation that reflects that level of training and professionalism.

If a properly trained TSA agent suspects a threat in a child, that child should be wanded and/or patted down, but should be patted down by another trained agent (who has also received training on how to handle child pax), and have that pat-down done in private, and in the presence of and with the approval of the child's guardian.

I really think the problem here is TSA agents that have not received the training necessary to deal with such sensitive issues as children passing through the security checkpoint. In my opinion, much of the criticism of the TSA surrounds the lack of training, and lack of hiring personnel who have the background and the aptitude to perform security effectively.

[Edited 2012-04-28 02:56:10]
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PanHAM
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:31 am

Quoting B2468 (Reply 31):
However, it is possible that someone might use a child to smuggle a weapon on board an aircraft, and that is why I said a "properly trained TSA agent" determining if a child is a threat. A "properly trained" TSA agent will have gone through extensive training

we are talking about an average American family here, mom and grandma inclusive. I would agree with you if there would have been a certain ethnic background. A couple of years ago on a demonstration against Israel in Berlin, a father had his about 3 or 4 year old daughter decorated with a mock suicide bomb.

A properly trained TSA agent with an IQ of 80 should have been able to realize that just by background "profiling" such a risk did not exist.

What kind of training does that need? You cannot train common sense, people have it or not. The task is to keep morons out of such jponbs, and that goes through all ranks, from top to bottom.
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B2468
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:59 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 32):
A properly trained TSA agent with an IQ of 80 should have been able to realize that just by background "profiling" such a risk did not exist.

I'm pretty sure you and I are on the same page here...the TSA agents involved did not have the proper training to correctly ascertain the threat posed by this child, nor the proper training to handle the additional screening. Just a poor job performed by unqualified people.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 32):
The task is to keep morons out of such jponbs, and that goes through all ranks, from top to bottom.

   TSA isn't doing a very good job at this. Like I said, TSA could have been done correctly, with well trained professionals who can observe and profile pax who might pose a threat, and restrict additional screening to those that to the trained eye might pose a threat, which could include a child. That isn't happening, though.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 32):
What kind of training does that need? You cannot train common sense, people have it or not.

I have no idea what kind of training is required since I don't work in the field, but the hiring process (which should be performed by the kinds of people who understand this stuff) should address this...it isn't.
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cmf
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RE: TSA Defends Pat-down Of 4-year-old

Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:03 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 32):
we are talking about an average American family here, mom and grandma inclusive. I would agree with you if there would have been a certain ethnic background. A couple of years ago on a demonstration against Israel in Berlin, a father had his about 3 or 4 year old daughter decorated with a mock suicide bomb.

A properly trained TSA agent with an IQ of 80 should have been able to realize that just by background "profiling" such a risk did not exist.

While I agree the fear of terrorism has made this country overreact and implement a lot of poor rules, you're suggestion that they should be excluded because they look like an average American family is completely wrong.

Anyone with an IQ of 80 should know that if you exclude a certain group then that is what will be exploited.

On top of that, a cleared person going back and having contact with someone who isn't is an "alarm". That it is a 4 year old kid doesn't change that.

From a security point the extra check was absolutely justified. How that extra check was done is the questionable part.
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