Mother films ‘horrifying’ Dallas TSA pat-down of 13-year-old son

A mother is calling the Dallas TSA pat-down of her son "extremely excessive." (NBC Photo)
A mother is calling the Dallas TSA pat-down of her son "extremely excessive." (NBC Photo)

DALLAS (KXAN) — A mother has posted video of what she’s calling an “extremely excessive” pat-down by a Transportation Security Administration employee.

Jennifer Williamson was at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on Sunday with her 13-year-old son Aaron when she asked the agent to use an alternative screening process because her son suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder, a condition that can cause anxiety in children when they are touched.

Even with that request, Williamson says the agent aggressively patted down her son during the security screening, which she described as “horrifying.”

“I noticed very quickly that my son was pat-down in private and sensitive areas repeatedly,” she said. “They did not go over those areas one time, they went over them four times.”

Video of the screening shows the agent touching the boy’s legs and arms. “I don’t know what they thought would’ve been under his skin, but I didn’t think that was appropriate, and especially after I told them that sensory issues were a challenge for him,” Williamson continued. “My son felt extremely violated. He left the area and was upset for quite some time.”

Aaron says he didn’t want to make a big scene because his mother was warned that the pat-down would happen or they would be escorted out by police. “And I really wanted to go to San Diego and I wanted to go to Disneyland and all of that stuff,” he said. “Whenever this officer was touching me in certain areas, I was taught that nobody should touch you in that area.”

The TSA responded that the pat down was done by the book. In a blog post, the TSA says the boy’s laptop alarmed an explosives trace detection machine and said the pat-down took around 2 minutes total. In total the mother and son spent 45 minutes going through security.

Williamson is asking for an apology from the agency and for the supervisor to be reprimanded.

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