TSA Blogger Responds

| October 17, 2009 | 6 Comments

Still Alleges TSA Took Son Away From Her

Nicole White has responded to the TSA video and admits that it was indeed her in the video. However, she appears to be alleging that the TSA doctored the video and did indeed take her son away from her.

in the video, it looks as though my son is playing happily in his stroller while i am being searched with a wand. obviously this is the big discrepancy with my story, since he was not in my sight at that time, and one that i too am thoroughly looking into. neither of the two phone calls i placed while seated in security are in the video either. what is shown in the video is incomplete as it leaves out when the security agent took my son to a separate area and out of my sight. this matter is one that is being handled between my family and the TSA.

One can’t say if he was playing happily or fussing, but how can she say that her son is out of her sight? She claims that she made two cell phone calls. This is yet another discrepancy in that 1) it is not on the video and 2) her cell phone most likely would have been screened and not returned to her until after she was totally cleared. Remember, she did not retrieve her belongings from the conveyor belt. Or, perhaps it was her cell phone and not her son’s pacifier clip that triggered the alarm.

The time stamps on the TSA video are pretty conclusive and the entire process took less than ten minutes from when she first entered the security checkpoint. There is no evidence of the altercation demanding the authorities be called.

In essence, there still are a lot of loopholes in the original story and this “explanation” has created a few more as well. While this appears to be a start in the resolution and explanation, it certainly has a long way to go.

Full copy of her apology/explanation after the jump.

17
Oct
2009

my sincere apologies to all of you who have been concerned, wanting answers and looking for an immediate response from me regarding my experience with TSA in the atlanta airport on thursday.

to get right to it, yes, that is me and my son in the video posted on the TSA blog. i will address that in more detail in a moment.

to answer some direct questions though…

no, i did not leave to catch a flight with only 45 minutes before departure. in fact, i had originally flown out of jacksonville, florida thursday morning to pick up my son from my mother in the atlanta airport. (those of you who read my blog, know that i left for a few days to help a friend).

my 8 am flight out of jacksonville to atlanta arrived on time; however, i sat on the ramp for nearly an hour and due to poor weather, flights were delayed. the plane i was on had therefore not been assigned to a gate. this caused anxiety not only for me trying to make my connection through atlanta hartsfield-jackson but for other passengers who were on my same flight.

to set the record straight, i’m originally from atlanta… i have been through that airport a ridiculous amount of times, so i’m privy to the knowledge that i need to give myself ample time for things like baggage check and security, especially when traveling with a child.

in terms of me being unreachable, i simply have not had time to adequately respond and for that i do apologize. apparently a lot of people out there want answers (as do i); however, i needed to take a step back, take a break from my blog, give myself some space and time… as well as take care of my family.

as far as my site being “blacked out” or me “going into hiding” as some people have referenced, in my opinion, i have done neither. a trusted friend who is abundantly more tech savvy than i am temporarily shut down my site because i was concerned about the amount of traffic. given that my blog chronicles my life with my family and my son, the last thing i wanted was for it to crash. so thank you dear friend.

to address the video… yes, i agree with many of you, my story differs from the one shown on tape. what is not shown is me unloading all of my baggage and initially walking through the metal detector only to be told that i needed to turn around and walk back through because the metal detector had gone off. at that point, as i said in my original story i knew immediately that it was my son’s metal pacifier clip. i asked the man who later placed my son and i in the plastic containment box if i could put the clip on the conveyor belt. i was told “no” and to walk back through. none of that is shown on tape. however, once i was near the end of my experience and had been searched by the female TSA agent, they were pleased to have me remove the ace bandage around my knee and run that back through the conveyor belt.

in the video, it looks as though my son is playing happily in his stroller while i am being searched with a wand. obviously this is the big discrepancy with my story, since he was not in my sight at that time, and one that i too am thoroughly looking into. neither of the two phone calls i placed while seated in security are in the video either. what is shown in the video is incomplete as it leaves out when the security agent took my son to a separate area and out of my sight. this matter is one that is being handled between my family and the TSA.

i have no further accusations of the TSA, and ultimately who to believe is left up to you. there is nothing more i can do with regards to that.

in terms of the TSA attempting to contact me and me not answering. that is false. i have received phone calls from reporters in annapolis and atlanta, as well as a representative from the TSA blog but not from anyone who works directly for the TSA. and as you can imagine, yes, i am screening my calls.

i believe it was an anonymous commenter from the TSA blog who brought attention to the fact that no one was safeguarding or paying attention to my son and i being contained in a plastic box… and yes, that was a humiliating experience and i appreciate you mentioning that fact that was very easily overlooked.

bottom line: my son and i were mistreated and using my blog and my freedom of speech, i made that known to the public. for those of you who know me or “know” me in terms of frequenting my site, i trust that you know i am a strong advocate for parents which is why i posted in the first place, and made that known at the bottom of my original post that no child should be separated from their parent.

am i a dramatic writer? most definitely.

did my son and i suffer a traumatic experience? absolutely.

was my post written when i was extremely emotional? yes.

with that being said, i just ask that you maybe take a step back… in my opinion Elliott.org had a fantastic take on this entire incident that gave me perspective as well.

his suggestions for both myself and the TSA were honest and true. as far as i’m concerned, yes, i will bring my site back up as soon as possible. i’m pretty sure i explained in detail above why i didn’t until now. we intend to pursue this with TSA (though they have not called me as you stated). in terms of the f-bombs… yes, certainly something that i need to work on, unfortunately when placed in a traumatic situation they tend to drop with me. but i agree, that did not help my situation.

lastly, it was suggested that i move on.

i already have. i would like for everyone else to do the same.

sad as it is, i have received so many emails of stories more horrific than mine with regards to the TSA and their treatment of travelers, especially those who are not originally from the US, those with children and those of children with special needs. my heart has broken for the families who have endured such traumas.

i truly thank all of you who have been so supportive and concerned for me over the last couple of days. this is the first (and most likely not the last) time i have dealt with an exorbitant amount of hate mail. that has been difficult, i won’t lie. so your support has most definitely been something i have leaned on and will continue to until this passes.

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Category: OPINION

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.