Monday, February 15, 2010

More TSA Stupidity

The bureaucrats at the TSA must be trying to surpass their colleagues at various motor vehicles departments in the race for bone-headed and inane bureaucracy. Here's a story from Philadelphia about abusive treatment of a 4-year old kid with leg braces. Even though I think it's ridiculous, I can understand the rule about not allowing metal to go through without more inspection. But what possible purpose does it serve not to allow a parent to carry a child through?

This happened to Bob Thomas, a 53-year-old officer in Camden's emergency crime suppression team, who was flying to Orlando in March with his wife, Leona, and their son, Ryan. Ryan was taking his first flight, to Walt Disney World, for his fourth birthday. The boy is developmentally delayed, one of the effects of being born 16 weeks prematurely. His ankles are malformed and his legs have low muscle tone. In March he was just starting to walk. ...The boy's father broke down the stroller and put it on the conveyor belt as Leona Thomas walked Ryan through the metal detector. The alarm went off. The screener told them to take off the boy's braces. The Thomases were dumbfounded. "I told them he can't walk without them on his own," Bob Thomas said. "He said, 'He'll need to take them off.' " Ryan's mother offered to walk him through the detector after they removed the braces, which are custom-made of metal and hardened plastic. No, the screener replied. The boy had to walk on his own. ...Bob Thomas was furious. He demanded to see a supervisor. The supervisor asked what was wrong. "I told him, 'This is overkill. He's 4 years old. I don't think he's a terrorist.' " The supervisor replied, "You know why we're doing this," Thomas said. Thomas said he told the supervisor he was going to file a report, and at that point the man turned and walked away.

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