Does This Girl Look Like a Terrorist to You?

EXCLUSIVE: DOES THIS GIRL LOOK LIKE A TERRORIST?

Family misses flight after TSA screeners target disabled 7-year-old

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Four months after the Transportation Security Administration launched a program to help airline passengers with disabilities, a New York family found out just how little “TSA Cares.”

Traveling from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Florida, the Frank family was yanked out of line as it boarded the plane in a dispute over how 7-year-old Dina had been screened. The little girl, who has cerebral palsy, walks with crutches and leg braces.
“They make our lives completely difficult,” said her father, Dr. Joshua Frank, a Long Island pediatrician. “She’s not a threat to national security.”

Flying is always difficult for the family, but this week was particularly dreadful, Frank and his wife, Marcy, said.

With her crutches and orthotics, Dina cannot walk through metal detectors and instead is patted down by security agents. The girl, who is also developmentally disabled, is often frightened by the procedure, her father said.

Marcy Frank usually asks the agents to introduce themselves to her daughter, but those on duty on Monday were exceptionally aggressive, Joshua Frank said, and he began to videotape them with his iPhone.

“And the woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” he said.

Eventually, a supervisor decided it was sufficient to inspect Dina’s crutches and allowed the family to leave for the gate.

They were there for an hour before the agents reappeared with a manager to tell them that proper protocol had not been followed, and that Dina had to be screened after all, the Franks said. After initially offering to pat her down at the gate, they insisted she return to the security area, Joshua Frank said.

“So then I got aggravated,” he said.

With Dina now in her wheelchair, Frank raced her across the JetBlue terminal, but by then, the family had missed its plane. The Franks caught a subsequent flight.

The TSA did not respond to a request for comment.

“They’re harassing people,” Joshua Frank said. “This is totally misguided policy. Yes, I understand that TSA is in charge of national security and there’s all these threats.”

But, he added, “For her to be singled out, it’s crazy.”

Marcy Frank said that the family was so proud of Dina being able to walk, something she recently accomplished with medical treatment.

“They still attack her like she’s Osama bin Laden,” she said. “It’s not fair.”

Joshua Frank isn’t hopeful about TSA Cares, a program launched in December that “strives to provide the highest level of security while ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity and respect.”

“They need to be more sensitive,” he said. “They claim they try, but they’re not.”

- Noreen.Odonnell@thedaily.com

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Comment by suzie on April 26, 2012 at 8:09pm

for crying out loud!! when will american people who fly say NO MORE!!

stay home for a day maybe two.. how about fri, sat &sunday....   no flying at all anywhere all across the country EVERYONE!! That would say something!  I just do not get this country what will it take .. our forefathers no matter what you may think of them had some honor and said some cool stuff..  one thing that i cannot forget is that if we give up liberty for safety we will deserve neither!! where does that put us?  

Comment by Tara on April 26, 2012 at 2:23pm

This is outrageous and completely out of control. We are all supposedly terrorists now but we all know who the real terrorists are, don't we?

Comment by Unemployed Storm trooper TK420 on April 26, 2012 at 10:24am

They are doing this to see how far People are willing to let them get away with whatever they feel like ....Is a true Tragedy to see the American people giving their rights so willingly ...maybe the we are the ones that are wrong guys...Most modern Americans love to be use and abuse by their government...and I don't think they will ever do anything to change that...they are way to busy with the lattes Justin Beaver song, their Plasma TV's and their E Pads to pay any attention to what is going on.

Comment by Less Prone on April 26, 2012 at 10:05am

It looks like they are doing these things on purpose to test how far they can go. And they can go too far without anyone protesting. Why isn't this all over the news?

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