Parents say they have not ruled out legal challenge to “dangerous” TSA policies
April 19, 2011
The mother of a six-year-old girl who was subject to an intensive pat down at the hands of the TSA recently says she is considering all options in how to respond to the incident, including a possible lawsuit.
“The message that we are trying to get out is that this has to stop, preferably for everybody with the groping, but especially for children.” Selena Drexel told The Alex Jones Show this week.
“I want to believe that the TSA, in theory, would be well intentioned to try to keep passengers safe during the course of a two to three hour flight, but I’m interested in keeping children safe when they’re on the ground too.” Mrs Drexel added.
The case hit headlines last week when the Drexels uploaded to YouTube a video of the TSA conducting an “enhanced” pat down on their young daughter Anna at New Orleans International Airport.
The video, which captured the agent frisking the girl up and down and even inside her pants, quickly went viral.
Selena Drexel and her husband, Todd, a qualified gynecologist, then appeared on ABC News and revealed that they had felt threatened by TSA agents and supervisors who made it clear that there would be trouble should the parents object to the enhanced screening procedures.
In her interview with Alex Jones, Mrs Drexel expanded on these comments.
“It was pretty hard to keep my cool, but the supervisor you don’t see on the camera was reasonably intimidating to me and let me know that there would be a big deal if I made a fuss.” she said.
“The TSA supervisor was sitting behind a desk and overseeing this and I recognized that he was the one in charge and protested to him off camera both before and after the video was rolling. He physically got into my personal space… and let me know ‘just don’t'” Mrs Drexel explained.
Mrs Drexel’s comments are interesting in light of a related story that the TSA has suggested it will now consider any form of “contempt against airport passenger procedures” as cause to categorize those involved as “high risk”.
Mrs Drexel also expressed deep concern over the TSA procedures as far as children are concerned.
“The methods that they have in place right now are setting kids up to be vulnerable to child predators who would take advantage of a child who has been conditioned to ignore that feeling of wrongness.” she said. “That uneasy feeling you get when someone is touching you in an inappropriate manner.”
Mrs Drexel is not alone with such concerns. Ken Wooden, founder of Child Lures Prevention and expert in the fight against child sexual abuse, recently told Raw Story that the TSA’s policies are desensitizing children to inappropriate touch. In some instances TSA agents have even suggested to kids that the pat-down is a “game”
Telling a child that they are engaging in a game is “one of the most common ways” that sexual predators use to convince children to engage in inappropriate contact, Wooden said. Children “don’t have the sophistication” to distinguish between a pat-down carried out by an airport security officer and an assault by a sexual predator, he added.
As we also documented last week, the TSA outright lied late last year when it suggested that it had modified the pat-down procedure for children under 12, when in fact the same invasive search of private areas of the body are evidently still being employed to this day.
Selena Drexel revealed that she and her husband are still deliberating over what action to take in response to the incident.
“I’m investigating what our options are, in terms of making the TSA accountable to their own published standards. I’m currently investigating options right now, I’ve not ruled anything out.” she said.
“I don’t remember signing anything when I bought my ticket saying I was giving up my constitutional rights, and certainly not those of my children, so I’m not sure how this is allowed.” she added.
Mrs Drexel also emphasized that it is important to become informed about what the TSA is doing, admitting that before the incident she had little knowledge of just how invasive the agencies methods had become until she was directly confronted by them.
Watch the full interview below:
This article was posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 9:11 am