Opinion: Respect TSA Protocol

by Reegan McCluskey

Opinion Editor

Everyone can agree, the most nerve-wracking part of traveling around the world is the airports or train stations. Specifically, getting through the hustle and bustle of security. No matter which airport, security lines add to the tension in the air. People want to get from one place to the next; however, they must worry about getting through the daunting metal detectors and scanners.

Proceeding through airport security involves a long list of rules: no liquid items greater than three ounces, no electronics in bags, and no shoes on, to name a few. While anxiously waiting line, travelers find themselves frantically going over the list in order to get through security without making a commotion. At the age of fourteen I had my first scare with airport security. I had successfully gotten through the large body scanner, but once I stepped out of the scanner I noticed my backpack was missing from the conveyor belt. I started to panic. Then after a frantic search for my backpack, one of the TSA agents told me they needed to inspect a section of my backpack. My skin began to feel warm and I quickly tried to remember all of the items in my bag, but nothing I could think of brought up any concern. I walked over to the lady in charge of going through bags; she explained that all she was going to search was the front pouch. Despite my fears, everything was okay; the sensors had picked up my granola bars.

Although these procedures and rules may seem excessive, TSA enacted these rules in order to promote safety in the airport and on the planes. Stated on the official website for the Department of Homeland Security under the security screening, “TSA’s screening procedures are intended to prevent prohibited items and other threats to transportation security from entering the sterile area of the airport and are developed in response to information on threats to transportation security.” These officers work to keep the airport a safe place to help travelers get from one place to the next.

Even though security lines create uneasiness, if people follow the rules, procedures run smoothly. However, there will always be a handful of people who create a disturbance and opt out of the elaborate security procedures like the body scanners. TSA agents do not force people to go through the scanners; for example, one alternative to the scanner is a thorough pat down.

In one recent news report, a woman traveling through the Dongguan Railway Station in China caught the eye of the media. This woman attempted to walk through the metal detectors with her purse. Security immediately stopped her and asked her to place her purse on the conveyor belt. Complying with the officers, the lady placed her handbag on the conveyor belt and joined her purse in the scanner. The lady later explained that she wanted to ensure the “safety” of her bag. Michelle Gant, a Fox news reporter, clarified: “migrant workers often carry large amounts of cash during the Chinese New Year … bringing their annual wages home to their families.”

Travelers need to continue respecting the rules of the TSA and security lines in airports or train stations in order to keep safety a high priority.

(Sources: Fox News, Transportation Security Administration)

Categories: Opinion, Web Exclusive

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