Marla Murasko: Did the TSA harrass us because of our special needs son?

Bruce Turner
Columnist Marla Murasko has finally discovered what the rest of us have been saying for years: the TSA is an exercise in abuse. Its agents are on a power trip. They bully, harass, rob, and assault people, every day, all across the country. It just took her a while to figure that out:

My husband and I are frequent flyers, and have traveled many places with our son, who is 7 years old and diagnosed with Down syndrome. We have traveled through many airports and have always followed the TSA policies. However, on this one particular day, we encountered such a rude and unpleasant display of harassment from a TSA Supervisor in the Houston airport that I wrote a letter to the TSA.

Oh, a letter. Yeah, that’ll go far.

. . . This time was no different from any other time we have traveled. We clearly were upfront with the agents, explaining that this is what we had in the cooler bag, our son has special needs and we have a note from the TSA (that we received from an earlier incident five years ago in Newark) and a doctor’s note explaining his special diet.

But as we know, TSA clerks routinely ignore doctor’s notes and their own procedures.

. . . Again, we explained that we have documentation from the TSA, but no one wanted to acknowledge or even look at the documentation; they just proceeded to pat my husband down. At this point, my husband and I were clearly upset. But what made matters worse is that the TSA Supervisor who was standing right there had the audacity to say to us “if you just be quiet, it will go a lot faster.” Seriously, is this how the TSA trains their employees to treat passengers? I was absolutely appalled at his comment.

At this point, my husband was so upset that he began shaking because he felt that he was being disrespected during the pat down. He even said to the supervisor: “he’s pulling my pants down,” and the arrogant supervisor said “well hold them up.” I turned to him and said, “You just told him to put his arms out to the side, which do you want?”

Welcome to the wacky world of the dictatorial TSA!

Then, just for good measure, one of the clerks threatened her:

But hold on, this gets even worse. Would you like to know what his response was to me? He looked right at me and said, “if I don’t shut up, he was going to get law enforcement.” Instead of apologizing or trying to make the situation better, he wants to call the police on me because I told him he was upsetting my son?┬áReally?┬áThis is outrageous! This was the worse my husband and I have ever been treated at an airport.

Sorry, Ms. Murasko. You shouldn’t have had to go through this. But neither should the millions of other people who’ve gone through similar abuse and written about it, publicized it, and tried to get people such as you to wake up. As the saying goes, one grope at a time. One grope at a time.

You can read the entire column here.

I hope Murasko submits a comment to the public docket during this open comment period.

(Photo: Bruce Turner/Flickr Creative Commons)