After passing through the security checkpoint at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport without incident earlier this month, the youngest member of the Forck family — 3-year-old Lucy — was suddenly singled out by TSA agents for additional screening.
"They specifically told me that they were singling her out for this special treatment because she's in a wheelchair," Lucy's dad Nathan told Fox News. "They are specifically singling out disabled people for this special scrutiny. It's rather offensive to me as a father of a disabled child."
Lucy suffers from Spina bifida, and in addition to being wheelchair-bound, she is also forced to endure an exposed spinal cord in the small of her back.
But TSA agents insisted on patting Lucy down, so her mother pulled out a video camera and began recording the scene.
"It is against the law for you to record," an agent tells her at one point during the video, but Nathan, being an attorney, knew that statement was false, so his wife kept right on filming.
"You can't do touch my daughter unless I record it," she tells the agent.
The entire ordeal lasted some 45 minutes, during which an agent took away Lucy's beloved stuffed animal Lamby, causing her to become inconsolable.
Worse still, Lucy was ready to call the whole family trip to Disney World off. "I don't want to go Disney World," she can be seen saying through sobs.
The TSA has since released a statement saying it "regrets inaccurate guidance was provided to this family during screening and offers its apology."
The statement makes clear that it's fine to film TSA agents at work, and notes that no pat down eventually took place but admits that ordering a pat down of a child as young as Lucy was "not proper procedure."
The Forcks say they are content with the TSA's apology and have no plans to take legal action. "Our goal was to draw people's attention to it — to effect change," Nathan told the Riverfront Times.
As for Lucy, her dad reports that she "had an awesome time in Disney World."
[photo via @elderfirmllc]