Airport security screenings are a singularly harrowing ordeal for 7-year-old Dina Frank, who suffers from cerebral palsy and requires crutches and leg braces to move around. Compound that with the fact that Dina is developmentally disabled, and the need for care and sensitivity on the part of TSA agents becomes that much greater.
But that was not the concern of the Transportation Security Officers at JFK who reportedly forced Dina to undergo a prolonged and aggressive screening that caused the girl and her family to miss their flight.
As her medical aids require her to submit to a physical pat-down, Dina's mom Marcy attempts to alleviate her daughter's anxiety by asking agents to introduce themselves. But the TSOs on duty this past Monday "were exceptionally aggressive," according to Dina's dad, Dr. Joshua Frank.
A supervisor had determined that a simple inspection of Dina's crutches would be sufficient, but the call was later reversed by a manager, who ordered that Dina be returned to the security area for a full pat-down.
Hurrying toward their gate with Dina in a wheelchair, the family arrived too late to board their JetBlue flight to Florida, and had to be put on the next plane out.
"They're harassing people," said Dr. Frank. "This is totally misguided policy." Added Mrs. Frank: "They still attack her like she's Osama bin Laden. It's not fair."