Let me say that I make a conscious effort to eschew violence as much as possible — just as some ex-smokers are almost rabid in their condemnation of smoking, so too am I perhaps overly anti-violence. That said, I think that, had I been in Nic’s shoes, there would have been blood spilled at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport the other day. Certainly, the possibly-perverted old man who took her son Jackson away from her and out of her sight to “inspect” him would have been, shall we say, damaged.
According to the Transportation Security Administration’s website, they “will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your child or children.” Unfortunately, it seems not all of their agents have kept up with the agency’s web site. As she was heading home last week, Nic went through the metal detector at the Atlanta airport with her son’s pacifier tether still attached to his clothing. The tether’s metal clip set off the alarm, of course, and rather than allow her to remove the item and try again, she was told to wait in a “6 ft plastic box” to be searched.
After a while, she was allowed to sit near her stroller and other items. Eventually, an older, male TSA agent came over and asked to search the child. Instead of doing it there, however, he took the toddler and disappeared, leaving his mother to be, as she described it, “Horrified. Terrified. Enraged.” I don’t blame her one bit and commend her for holding it together as well as she did.
It is indeed sad that we need such extreme security measures at all; it is equally sad that someone would be so oblivious to or uncaring about the bond between a mother and child as to blithely walk off with someone else’s child.