Philadelphia TSA screeners forced the developmentally delayed, four-year-old son of a Camden, PA police officer to remove his leg-braces and wobble through a checkpoint, despite the fact that their procedure calls for such a case to be handled through a swabbing in a private room. When the police officer complained, the supervising TSA screener turned around and walked away. Then a Philadelphia police officer asked what was wrong and "suggested he calm down and enjoy his vacation."
Ryan was taking his first flight, to Walt Disney World, for his fourth birthday.
The boy is developmentally delayed, one of the effects of being born 16 weeks prematurely. His ankles are malformed and his legs have low muscle tone. In March he was just starting to walk...
The screener told them to take off the boy's braces.
The Thomases were dumbfounded. "I told them he can't walk without them on his own," Bob Thomas said.
"He said, 'He'll need to take them off.' "
Ryan's mother offered to walk him through the detector after they removed the braces, which are custom-made of metal and hardened plastic.
No, the screener replied. The boy had to walk on his own.