Tuesday, October 9, 2012

KCI TSA was out of line with public pat-down of breast-cancer survivor

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM

The fountains are pink for a reason this month.
  • University of Kansas
  • The fountains are pink for a reason this month.
It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month everywhere except the Kansas City International Airport. Marcia Deitrick, a breast-cancer survivor, talked to KCTV Channel 5 about what she says was a 'humiliating pat-down,' after a female Transportation Security Administration agent checked the area around her breasts. The agent had earlier radioed in an "anamoly," following Deitrick's pass through the body scanner. Deitrick believes that the scar tissue from her silicone breast implants — she had a bilateral mastectomy in 2007 — created the need for additional screening. Deitrick was fine with the additional measures; she just took issue that it was in front of other travelers.

We have to find a balance between decency and security. TSA has explained that it was within Dietrick's right to request a private screening. But common sense would suggest that a security agent would include that particular question before moving ahead with the screening. There are people on both sides of this equation — agents and passengers — and both are capable of making mistakes or behaving badly. But until each takes the time (which is difficult within the stressful context of a TSA screening line) to stop and see the other as human, we're going to keep having issues like this. Maybe we could shoot for, I don't know, a bit more awareness.

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