TSA Apologizes For Traumatizing 3-Year-Old in Wheelchair
The TSA has offered a terse apology for traumatizing a 3-year-old girl in a wheelchair with spina bifida who was on her way to Walt Disney World, after a TSA agent claimed the girl's mother was committing a criminal act for filming the incident.
Nathan and Annie Forck, along with their three children, were traveling through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on their way to a family holiday in Orlando, Fla. on February 8.
3-year-old Lucy Forck was pulled aside for extra screening as TSA agents told her mother they needed to swab the wheelchair and subject her daughter to a pat down.
Annie Forck began filming the incident on her cellphone, telling the screener, “You can’t do touch my daughter unless I record it,” to which the screener responded by telling Forck to stop recording because such activity was illegal.
3-year-old Lucy began to cry uncontrollably during the incident before saying, "I don't want to go to Disney World."
After the incident garnered viral attention on the Internet, the TSA was forced to issue a terse apology.
“TSA regrets inaccurate guidance was provided to this family during screening and offers its apology,” the agency said. “We are committed to maintaining the security of the traveling public and strive to treat all passengers with dignity and respect. While no pat-down was performed, we will address specific concerns with our workforce.”
This is yet another example of how poorly trained TSA workers are not even familiar with the federal agency's policy on filming at security checkpoints.
The TSA website makes clear that the, "TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down."
The TSA has made a habit of harassing people with disabilities and particularly children in wheelchairs.
Last year, a 3-year-old boy with a broken leg was subjected to a pat down at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. The clip shows a TSA agent lifting up the boy's shirt as he reaches out for support from his parents, who are told they cannot comfort the visibly upset child.