Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the government will be rolling out a different airport pat-down policy for children under 12 in the coming months. (The Transportation Security Administration later clarified stating it would be a matter of weeks.)
Speaking before a Senate hearing on Tuesday she announced that the change will occur but didn’t specify what the new policy will be.
She also said that these children will no longer have to take off their shoes to be screened.
“Some travelers and privacy advocates have complained that children, who don’t appear to pose terror threats, are subject to intimate pat-downs that involve Transportation Security Administration screeners touching private areas. Children under 12 will also be spared the hassle of taking off their shoes as they go through check point security, Napolitano said.”
“Napolitano said there may be some exceptions to keep airport security unpredictable. Terrorists have plotted to use children as suicide bombers, and some children still may be required to remove their shoes to keep security random.”
” ‘There will always be some unpredictability built into the system, and there will always be random checks even for groups that we are looking at differently, such as children,’ she said.”
They can make my kids take off their shoes all they want. (My kids think it’s funny.) What I don’t want is some man or woman feeling up my kids.
So I will be very interested to see what the new rules turn out to be and when they will get them into practice. It would nice if they could do it before Thanksgiving.
I was recalling the other day how Rose’s diaper was patted-down when we traveled to Colorado a few months after 9-11. I don’t think my kids have been searched since then.
What do you think the new standard should be for searching children getting onto planes? How can the government keep us safe without making our kids feel weird or invading their privacy?