TSA Fails To Use Common Sense in Aggressive Pat-Down of 4-Year-Old

By NICK CHILES

We’ve all heard the expression that common sense isn’t common—well, it certainly applies to the TSA, which is under fire for aggressively patting down a crying, screaming 4-year-old girl in Kansas.

The girl (who is pictured here in her flower girl dress) had run to hug her grandmother, who was awaiting a pat-down after tripping the alarm at the Wichita Airport. But because the girl had already been screened when she ran to her grandmother, the TSA agents reacted like Osama bin Laden’s grenade-wielding little brother had just bum-rushed the screening line.

According to the little girl’s grandmother, Lori Croft, who spoke to the Associated Press, the agents were hollering at the little girl and calling her uncooperative while she kicked and screamed in terror. She had just learned about “stranger danger” in school, her grandmother said, and was terrified by all the strangers surrounding her and even insisting that she be taken into a private room to be screened. The family has filed a formal complaint against the TSA, whose officials insisted in a public statement that the agents acted properly.

All this back and forth about uncooperative four-year-olds brings me back to my original point, the one about common sense. Until the TSA locates some common sense, they’re going to keep running into these public relations disasters. What does the TSA need to understand about little ones? Most of all, TSA rules are never going to make much sense to a four-year-old. So don’t get up in a four-year-old’s face, talking about “the rules.” All you’re gonna do is make them holler—Grandma Croft said their little one actually had nightmares about the scary agents.

Until we come across a species of four-year-olds who can mastermind terrorist attacks, we’re going to need the TSA to stop treating them like they are breaking the law by rushing to grandma and giving her a hug. I’m going to need them to get their act together before the next time I hit the airport with my own kids. My 9-year-old isn’t too keen on scary strangers in her face, either.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

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