TSA Under Fire for Mistreatment of 7-Year-Old Girl With Cerebral Palsy

Melissa Knowles
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The Transportation Security Administration is under scrutiny for its treatment of a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. When Dina Frank traveled through New York's JFK International Airport with her parents, she and her family were pulled out of line as they tried to board their plane.

The airport's TSA agents and the Franks are in dispute over how the family was treated at security after Dina endured what the Franks referred to as an "exceptionally aggressive screening." Dina walks with the aid of metal crutches and leg braces, so she can't go through a traditional metal detector and has to be manually patted down. Dina's parents say that she is developmentally disabled and often gets frightened by the procedure, so they often request that TSA agents introduce themselves before screening Dina.

Her father, Dr. Joshua Frank, began taping the screening with his iPhone, but said that he was screamed at, cursed at, and threatened as he tried to document what was happening. The Franks said a supervisor eventually allowed them to go to their gate, having decided that inspecting the crutches was acceptable.

However, an hour after the family had arrived at their departure gate, TSA agents showed up and said the Franks would need to return to the security area for an additional screening. By the time the family had returned to the gate after Dina's rescreening, their flight had departed.

Dr. Frank, a pediatrician from Long Island, and his wife, Marcy, believe their daughter was unfairly singled out. He says he understands that the TSA is charged with protecting national security, but says "they're harassing people" and have a "totally misguided policy."

On social media, people are generally agreeing with the Franks, with one person tweeting "Is this really necessary?"

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Facebook will soon be a publicly traded company, but some people are saying there aren't enough women at the top of the company. Facebook has been under scrutiny recently after the company announced its plans for an IPO; its board of directors is all-male and all-white.

The women's advocacy group UltraViolet occupied the entrance of Facebook's New York offices on Wednesday, demanding that the company add women to its board of directors. UltraViolet says 58% of Facebook users are women, and they should be represented at the highest levels of the company. In addition, the group believes that not having women on the board is contradictory to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's professed goal for his company, which allows people to "make their voices heard."

More than two dozen men and women gathered, chanting "Shame on Facebook" and holding signs saying "Women Are Good for Business" and "'Like' Women on the Board." Protestors held a petition with more than 50,000 signatures but were not allowed to deliver it to Facebook directly; they were asked to leave the documents with the building's receptionist.

Facebook declined to comment directly on the protest. Zuckerberg has said in the past, "I'm going to find people who are helpful, and I don't particularly care what gender they are."

It's worth noting that while the board of directors for Facebook is all-male, the company's chief operating officer is a woman: Sheryl Sandberg.