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Old Jan 1, 09, 5:12 am   #1
 
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BWI TDC (playing BDO/SPOT) harasses, terrorizes, interrogates 3-year-old

http://www.examiner.com/x-536-Civil-...aring-children

Quote:
My wife and I checked in without incident, then headed to the security checkpoint with our 3 1/2-year-old son in tow. The very first TSA officer we encountered glanced at our ID and our boarding passes, and then proceeded to interrogate ... my kid.

"What's your name, son? Can you tell me your name?"

He shuffled through our boarding passes and then started again.

"What's your name? Can you tell me?"

He barely acknowledged the presence of the adults, saying only, "This will just take a minute."

I seethed. But we were 3,000 miles from home, at airport security in a strange city. We all needed to get back to Arizona, and getting booted from the airport -- or worse, arrested -- wouldn't accomplish that goal.

"Tell the nice man your name, Tony," I suggested.

"Tell me your name," the uniformed officer insisted.

Through all oft his, Tony remained tongue-tied, with a look of growing confusion mixed with terror on his face. That's no surprise. Like most parents, we warn our son against chatting with strange adults. And, like most young children, Tony isn't inclined to react favorably to sharp questions from random people.

Tony's silence may even have been a blessing. On any given day, under good circumstances, he's as likely to tell you that he's a monster or a "sharptooth" or Christopher Robin as he is to volunteer the name his mother and I gave him. I mean, he's 3 1/2 for crying out loud.

About which I gently reminded the officer. The muttered, "he's just three, you know," may or may not have helped.

"I bet I know your name," the TSA agent finally said. "I bet it's Anthony. Do they call you Tony?"

Tony tearfully surrendered a slight nod, allowing the agent of the security state to claim a victory over the forces of evil, and we were on our way
Happy New Year from our friends at the civil-liberties-destroying, dignity-destroying TSA. Shame. Shame. Shame. Someday history will judge you, and your children and grandchildren will bear the shame of their families for the actions of those who supported this agency.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 6:18 am   #2
 
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That... had nothing to do with the SPOT program, dude.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 6:28 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by HSVTSO Dean View Post
That... had nothing to do with the SPOT program, dude.
Well, the description of the event, the TDC asking pointless questions, implies the TDC was acting as if he was doing or pretending to do behavior detection or suspicious-activity detection of some sort--hence my comment "playing BDO/SPOT."

The key point isn't whether the incident was a formal part of the SPOT or any other behavior-detection program; the key point is that a TSA agent interrogated a three-year-old for no purpose, did so without permission from his parents, and made the kid cry.

Whether the TSO was actually trying to root out some "suspicious" activity (parents buying a ticket in a different name than their kid's formal, legal, Secure-Flight-approved-for-government-travel-permission, name ), or whether the TSO was just trying to acclimatize the kid to sheepishly answering pointless privacy-invading questions from officious government agents at papers-please checkpoints, to me the incident is shameful.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 6:42 am   #4
 
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And some people just like talking to kids with no other ulterior motive. We have a LTSO like that here in HSV, and a regular TSO. The LTSO just loves children in general; the TSO has been involved with the Boy Scouts for... golly, it has to be, like, the past forty years. Anytime a young boy comes through the checkpoint, he's all about trying to get them to interact with adults on an even level, involving them with knowing what's going on and asking them questions and such.

Me, I just choose to ignore children as much as possible. I don't like them.

However, I recognize that the checkpoint has to be a scary place for a child. Even for something as simple as them coming through the WTMD, it usually goes smoother if you squat down to the ground to get on their level, rather than keep standing and just telling them to come through - even if you're using a gentle or light voice. Getting down on their level makes it not quite as intimidating. It also usually sometimes helps to stick your hand out and say "Gimme five!" because at least the kid comes through the WTMD to smack your hand.

Either way, some people just legitimately adore children, and like to interact with them. I've seen children react the exact same way to a guy in a Goofy costume, and to Santa Clause, to the exact same line of questioning. It's hardly an interrogation; when you want to interact with a child, there's not very much in the way of things you can say to them that they'd know.

I just think you're making a big ol' mountain out of a molehill on this one, and the guy who wrote the story is, too.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 7:46 am   #5
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No, not a mountain out of a molehill. There was no reason for the screener to question the child and his parents should have told the screener to cease and desist.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 8:28 am   #6
 
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Since when has "what's your name" become an interrogation? Oh my god, I was interrogated by the car salesman yesterday. He shook my hand, and said, "I'm Tom, what's your name?"
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Old Jan 1, 09, 8:31 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSVTSO Dean View Post
And some people just like talking to kids with no other ulterior motive. We have a LTSO like that here in HSV, and a regular TSO. Me, I just choose to ignore children as much as possible. I don't like them.
...snip...
However, I recognize that the checkpoint has to be a scary place for a child.
...snip...
I just think you're making a big ol' mountain out of a molehill on this one, and the guy who wrote the story is, too.
Dean couple of comments, would not a person of even below average intelligence understand that in this case the kid was not reacting well and just let it go? No, the TSO pushed making the problem worse than needed.

The parents should have put a halt to the interrogation and filed a complaint. It is a serious issue that happens all to often and needs to be corrected across your whole agency. People deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, even young ones.

You say you have a regular TSO at HSV, so how many irregular TSO's are there? There is medicine for that problem, ya know!
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Old Jan 1, 09, 8:37 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Guy View Post
Since when has "what's your name" become an interrogation? Oh my god, I was interrogated by the car salesman yesterday. He shook my hand, and said, "I'm Tom, what's your name?"
You're a big boy. The screener was questioning a very young child and apparently frightening him. Perhaps the screener was just trying to be friendly, but when the child did not respond and became upset, it should have been dropped. When it persisted, the parents should have called a halt to it.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 10:04 am   #9
 
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Not at all surprised that it was BWI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSVTSO Dean View Post
And some people just like talking to kids with no other ulterior motive. We have a LTSO like that here in HSV, and a regular TSO. The LTSO just loves children in general; the TSO has been involved with the Boy Scouts for... golly, it has to be, like, the past forty years. Anytime a young boy comes through the checkpoint, he's all about trying to get them to interact with adults on an even level, involving them with knowing what's going on and asking them questions and such.

Me, I just choose to ignore children as much as possible. I don't like them.

However, I recognize that the checkpoint has to be a scary place for a child. Even for something as simple as them coming through the WTMD, it usually goes smoother if you squat down to the ground to get on their level, rather than keep standing and just telling them to come through - even if you're using a gentle or light voice. Getting down on their level makes it not quite as intimidating. It also usually sometimes helps to stick your hand out and say "Gimme five!" because at least the kid comes through the WTMD to smack your hand.

Either way, some people just legitimately adore children, and like to interact with them. I've seen children react the exact same way to a guy in a Goofy costume, and to Santa Clause, to the exact same line of questioning. It's hardly an interrogation; when you want to interact with a child, there's not very much in the way of things you can say to them that they'd know.

I just think you're making a big ol' mountain out of a molehill on this one, and the guy who wrote the story is, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Guy View Post
Since when has "what's your name" become an interrogation? Oh my god, I was interrogated by the car salesman yesterday. He shook my hand, and said, "I'm Tom, what's your name?"
Interrogation - er nice questioning - takes on an entirely different air when it's being done by a person in badge and uniform that has the power to deny you the right to travel today. This might have an entirely different if the TSA folks didn't have the badge to intimid... er make people respect them.

With all the issues surrounding child abduction and sexual abuse, parents are told over and over to teach children to not talk to strangers. Now the TSA folks are holding a family up because a 3 year old refuses to talk to them?

C'mon. Good on the kid for not trusting a stranger. Bad on the TSA for not accepting that and holding them up.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 10:15 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Guy View Post
Since when has "what's your name" become an interrogation? Oh my god, I was interrogated by the car salesman yesterday. He shook my hand, and said, "I'm Tom, what's your name?"
interrogate
One entry found.





Main Entry: in·ter·ro·gate
Pronunciation: \in-ˈter-ə-ˌgāt, -ˈte-rə-\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): in·ter·ro·gat·ed; in·ter·ro·gat·ing
Etymology: Latin interrogatus, past participle of interrogare, from inter- + rogare to ask — more at right
Date: 15th century
1 : to question formally and systematically
2 : to give or send out a signal to (as a transponder) for triggering an appropriate response
synonyms see ask
— in·ter·ro·ga·tee \-ˌter-ə-(ˌ)gā-ˈtē\ noun
— in·ter·ro·ga·tion \-ˌter-ə-ˈgā-shən\ noun
— in·ter·ro·ga·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
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Old Jan 1, 09, 10:36 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
interrogate
One entry found.





Main Entry: in·ter·ro·gate
Pronunciation: \in-ˈter-ə-ˌgāt, -ˈte-rə-\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): in·ter·ro·gat·ed; in·ter·ro·gat·ing
Etymology: Latin interrogatus, past participle of interrogare, from inter- + rogare to ask — more at right
Date: 15th century
1 : to question formally and systematically
2 : to give or send out a signal to (as a transponder) for triggering an appropriate response
synonyms see ask
— in·ter·ro·ga·tee \-ˌter-ə-(ˌ)gā-ˈtē\ noun
— in·ter·ro·ga·tion \-ˌter-ə-ˈgā-shən\ noun
— in·ter·ro·ga·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
HYPE

Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): hyped; hyp·ing
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: circa 1931
1 : put on , deceive
2 : to promote or publicize extravagantly
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Old Jan 1, 09, 10:54 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSVTSO Dean View Post
That... had nothing to do with the SPOT program, dude.
probably so and imho, simply an overzealous screener trying to determine if they were going to make the big kidnapping rescue of the day (and also, imho, not a stretch at all). if it was me, i would have very politely told the screener not to speak to my son and to talk to me directly as my son does not talk to strangers. "plane" and simple and if the screener persisted, we all know which group of people i would be asking for next. sorry but the screener had no "bidness" speaking to this minor child (and very minor child at that).
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Old Jan 1, 09, 12:22 pm   #13
 
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I have no issue with a TSO saying hello to my children. However, the first time any TSO starts asking questions of my children, that TSO will be sternly advised to direct all questions and further conversation to me, EXCLUSIVELY. At the same time, my children will be advised by me to cease any responses to the TSO.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 3:31 pm   #14
 
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My kids are taught not to speak to strangers.
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Old Jan 1, 09, 3:39 pm   #15
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After working with abused and neglected kids in Metro Atlanta, all kids have a soft spot in my heart. I don't really try and interact, I just smile, wave and say HI!!!.
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