Transportation Security Administration officials say they did nothing wrong in a pat-down search of a 4-year-old girl at a Kansas airport recently. But the youth's mother and grandmother say the child became hysterical during the examination.
What 4-year-old would not be frightened out of her wits in such a situation?
It happened after the child hugged her grandmother at the airport. Presumably, TSA agents have been trained to suspect that in such cases, contraband may have been transferred to a child.
So perhaps it was all "by the book." But what if the "book" is wrong? Surely, some means of handling the situation without terrifying a child could have been found.
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, is pressing the Transportation Security Administration for more details in the wake of the incident.
"I am a staunch advocate for effective transportation security, but I'm also a strong advocate for common sense and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans," Tester wrote to TSA Administrator John Pistole, according to a news release from Tester's office. "Any report of abuse of the power entrusted to officers of the TSA is especially concerning - especially if it involves children."
Tester told Pistole he looks forward to hearing more about "what steps will be taken in the future to ensure more common sense when dealing with young children and their parents during necessary airport security screenings."
We join Tester in waiting to hear about those steps.