UPDATE: 9:45 p.m. Thursday
Recent video posted online of kids getting full pat downs by airport security has gone viral.
NBC25 found out how some Mid-Michigan moms are reacting.
Some say it's a privilege to fly and all passengers should be subjected to TSA screenings, while others argue kids shouldn't have to be touched by strangers.
Video of a six year old girl getting a full pat down by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in New Orleans goes viral, and has many parents asking is the TSA going too far?
I feel it TMs not the right of our security system at the airports to take children and put them through that kind of thing, said Jan Semple, a grandmother of two.
The TSA tells NBC25 the officer followed proper procedures, but its reviewing its screening policies to improve and streamline the experience for low-risk populations, such as younger passengers.
However, they say terrorists manipulate societal norms and can use kids to evade detection.
That TMs why one avid air traveler says the mom's concerns in the video are out of line.
We vacation in Mexico. Kids coming back from Mexico, who knows what they may plant on them, said Marianne Missfeldt, an air traveler.
At the MBS Aiport, TSA guidelines are displayed before you even walk through security.
If your child is required to have a pat down, you have two options.
The pat down can take place in a private room and it can be witnessed by a person of your choice.
As long as I was present and could see everything that was happening, it would be okay. Especially because of the whole safety issue with people bringing illegal stuff in, said Stephanie Krajcovic, a mother of two.
But a mom from Oregon disagrees after her eight year old son was recently pat down on the way to Disneyland.
They went up his leg into that area, up here, all over, said Heather Sheahan, whose son was pat down.
I was confused. I didn't know anything they were going to do to me, said Spencer Sheahan, who was pat down by TSA.
The TSA says their officers will continue to work with parents to ensure a respectful screening process for the entire family.
According to TSA's web site, if you're carrying your child through the metal detector and the alarm sounds, officers will have to additionally screen both you and your child.
And if a baby is carried through the metal detector in a carrier or sling, additional screening may be required regardless if there is an alarm or not.
let us know how you feel about this viral video here or on the NBC25 Facebook page. Did the TSA go too far, or were they merely doing their job?
4:30 p.m. Thursday
One YouTube user states, |what if that was a sex offender?? children>>are children.. they dont know what is going on!!!! this needs to be stopped.!!!!!!! Another comments, Is not having>>hands on your thighs so much of an issue? Is it really more important than terrorism? Please, sort your priorities and stop being so sensitive. It was not groping, it was frisking. If we were this soft with everyone then we're inviting more terrorist attacks. Your personal insecurities are not more important than the risk of human lives.YouTube
NBC25 asked the TSA about the issue. They sent us a statement saying, TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that this officer followed proper current screening procedures. However in line with his vision to accelerate TSA TMs evolution into a truly risk-based, intelligence-driven organization, Administrator Pistole has tasked the agency with exploring additional ways to focus its resources and move beyond a one-size fits all system while maintaining a high level of security. As part of this effort TSA has been actively reviewing its screening policies and procedures to streamline and improve the screening experience for low-risk populations, such as younger passengers.
Thursday night, we will be heading to MBS Aiport in Mid-Michigan to better understand pat-down protocols. We'll have the full story on NBC25 News at 11:00 p.m.
In the meantime, let us know how you feel about this viral video here or on the NBC25 Facebook page. Did the TSA go too far, or were they merely doing their job?