The parents of a child with spinal bifida are angry after TSA officials forced the toddler to go through additional security measures because she was in a wheel chair.
The family was on their way to Disney World and flying out of Missouri on February 8. Nathan and Annie Forck, along with their daughter Lucy and two other children, didn’t experience any difficulties until they reached the end of the security checkpoint.
Once there, a TSA agent told the family they had to pull Lucy aside to screen her wheelchair further, pat her down, and swab the chair.
Annie took her cell phone out and began recording it, but the TSA agent said it was illegal.
“You can’t touch my daughter unless I can record it,” Annie said. “The problem is, I don’t allow anyone to touch my little daughter.”
While she and the TSA agent argued, Lucy was crying in the background, confused about what was happening and immediately regretting the trip. At one point, she said she didn’t want to go to Disney World anymore.
They also took her stuffed animal, “Lamby,” to scan it in an X-ray, but they never returned it to her.
Nathan Forck is an attorney, and knew it was legal to record the event and said if this event happened outside the setting of an airport, it would be illegal.
“But you put a TSA badge on and now all of a sudden, it’s okay,” he said. He also explained he and his wife were not trying to draw attention to themselves but were worried about their daughter.
TSA has a separate screening process for those who cannot walk. According to their site, they must be “screened by a thorough patdown while they remain seated. A patdown procedure is used to resolve any alarms of a metal detector or anomalies identified by imaging technology.”
While they offer a notification card to those with medical issues, it states on the card that presenting it to agents does not mean passengers can escape extra screening.
Nathan said Lucy got through the checkpoint without a problem, so they didn’t understand why the patdown was necessary.