An investigation is now underway after the father of a 15-year-old girl wrote a piece for BoingBoing on Sunday in which he described a TSA officer verbally humiliating the girl at Los Angeles Airport.
Mark Frauenfelder said his daughter, who was not identified, went to LAX to join friends on a college tour. Frauenfelder was not with his daughter when she was accosted by the officer, but she allegedly text messaged him after it happened because she was so frightened by the officer’s aggressiveness.
The TSA officer was working the podium where IDs are crosschecked against information on a boarding pass. The 15-year-old girl said the officer had been glaring at her and mumbling something.
When she said, “excuse me?” he lashed out at her, saying, “you’re only 15, cover yourself!”
Frauenfelder published a photo of his daughter’s outfit during the incident. She appears to be wearing leggings and long sleeve shirt.
“It doesn't matter what she was wearing, though, because it's none of his business to tell girls what they should or should not wear,” Frauenfelder wrote. “His creepy thoughts are his own problem, and he shouldn't use his position of authority as an excuse to humiliate a girl and blame her for his sick attitude.”
Frauenfelder is the editor-in-chief of Make magazine. His friend Maureen Herman, co-founder of A is For, a women’s rights advocacy group, responded to the incident via Facebook.
“‘Cover up’ is a dangerous cultural attitude that fuels more than rude comments. It's the foundation of the oppression of women, rape culture ("she was asking for it"),” Herman wrote.
Frauenfelder said his wife and he met with the TSA at LAX. He said the supervising officer, Officer Murphy, was apologetic and concerned about the incident.
Just last month, The Daily Mail reported, a girl flying through Toronto, Canada, claimed a TSA agent inappropriately touched her vagina and groped her breasts during a pat down. Ashley Jessica’s mother captured the incident on video and published it to YouTube where is has more than 40,000 views.
The 27-year-old PhD student said was told that the agent would stop the screening process and not allow her to fly if she resisted.