“Following Procedure”

After 9/11, we all knew we would have to give up certain rights. Our privacy is essentially nonexistent, as there are cameras on almost every street corner. Any topic searched on the internet by anyone anywhere can be traced by the FBI in a matter of seconds. Homeland security put out a color labeling system for us to tell if a terrorist attack may be approaching. The biggest change, however, is at the airport.

Shoes are removed. Belts are removed. The computer must be placed in a separate box in the transmission belt. No one can come to pick you up at the gate anymore. And you cannot have a bottle of liquid that is more than 3 oz. Yes, I sadly had to throw away my Oilily perfume. All of this though, is justified. If I have to remove my flip-flops, take off my belt, and leave my house an extra half-hour early to prepare for security measures, and this somehow helps ensure that I will be safe, I’m happy to do it.

The problem is when anything goes to an extreme. I think we all remember when in 2005 a man in a London airport was shot 11 times while eating a pear. The policemen’s response, “We thought it was a grenade.” Well, fast-forward six years and we have another ridiculous airport moment. At Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, a 95-year-old woman in a wheel chair, battling Leukemia, was not allowed to receive clearance from airport security until she removed her wet Depends (adult diaper). Her family was furious, understandably. Her daughter, Jean Weber, filed a complaint with federal authorities. Jean said that the event left her nonagenarian mother in tears.

The elderly woman, Ms. Weber, had to remove her soiled diaper because it was “interfering” with TSA’s (Transportation Security Administration) search. Why they were “searching” this woman in the first place is a mystery. Nothing spells terrorism like a diaper, cancer, and a wheel chair. Ms. Weber did not have another diaper with her, and the officials did nothing to assist her after their search was complete. Says airport officials, “We were just following procedure.”

Well, officials, change your procedure.

Danielle Petersen


Family photo: Joan Weber

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One Comment

  1. sally says:

    I worked for TSA till I was injured in 2008. It has never been
    Procedure for anyone to have to remove a diaper or prosthetic
    Device of any kind. If they ever tell you this ask them to show it to
    you in writing. Some of the officers and supervisors are using their
    power for the wrong things. If there is evidence of something in
    A diaper yes there will be further investigation. But I’d there are
    no alarms keep your diapers and prosthetic devices to yourself. If
    they still make you take it off for no reason, sue them! It’s the only
    way to get the government to do the right thing and replace the power
    hungry. Ego should never come before safety. TSA Could be the best
    part of our airports but sadly they have become the worst since the government
    Took over.


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