Fort Worth

Mom who called airport security search of teen ‘horrifying’ says TSA has apologized

A mother who called the search of her teenage son by a TSA agent “horrifying” posted on Facebook on Thursday that the agency has apologized and has asked her to work with it to improve their procedures.

Video of the 13-year-old’s search, posted on Facebook on Sunday, had garnered more than 7.2 million views by Thursday.

Officials with the Transportation Security Administration said Monday that their agent followed approved procedure during a 45-minute screening process at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. It included a thorough pat-down of the boy that lasted about two minutes.

Jennifer Williamson, the boy’s mother, wrote that she was “livid” at the TSA agent, especially since she had requested that the teen not be patted down because he has a disorder that can cause anxiety in children when they are touched.

Williamson wrote Thursday that TSA officials have since apologized for what happened and have asked her to help the agency improve its response to people with special medical needs, according to a Facebook post.

“I know there have been a smaller group of people who question the motives of my going public with the video but my intention has always been to initiate change,” Williamson’s post said. “The TSA has not provided any personal reparation to my family beyond this apology, but I can fight with tsa about our individual experience and demand they publicly admit wrongdoing or seek that they make reparations to us personally, or I can work towards change for all passengers flying in this country. I am proud to have initiated dialogue that will lead to further training of TSA agents which I hope will improve the experiences of ALL passengers flying in this country.”

TSA said in a statement Thursday that agency officials are communicating with Williamson to learn more about her family’s screening experience.

“While the proper procedures were followed, we appreciate her feedback and look forward to continued dialogue,” the TSA said. “TSA has a long-standing partnership with a coalition of disability advocacy groups, community-based organizations and individuals, and we welcome Ms. Williamson’s input. TSA is committed to ensuring the security of travelers, while treating all with dignity and respect.”

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3