Skip to comments.'This Is Not Right'
Posted on 06/03/2005 4:33:39 AM PDT by ActionNewsBill
'This Is Not Right'
DES MOINES - Cecilia Beaman is a 57-year-old grandmother, a principal at Pacific Middle School in Des Moines, and as of Sunday is also a suspected terrorist.
"This is not right," she told us. It's not right!"
This past weekend she and several other chaperones took 37 middle school students to a Heritage Festival band competition in California. The trip included two days at Disneyland.
During the stay she made sandwiches for the kids and was careful to pack the knives she used to prepare those sandwiches in her checked luggage. She says she even alerted security screeners that the knives were in her checked bags and they told her that was OK.
But Beaman says she couldn't find a third knife. It was a 5 1/2 inch bread knife with a rounded tip and a serrated edge. She thought she might have lost or misplaced it during the trip.
On the trip home, screeners with the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles International Airport found it deep in the outside pocket of a carry-on cooler. Beaman apologized and told them it was a mistake.
"You've committed a felony," Beaman says a security screener announced. "And you're considered a terrorist."
Beaman says she was told her name would go on a terrorist watch-list and that she would have to pay a $500 fine.
"I'm a 57-year-old woman who is taking care of 37 kids," she told them. "I'm not gonna commit a terrorist act." Beaman says they took information from her Washington drivers license and confiscated and photographed the knife according to standard operating procedure.
She says screeners refused to give her paperwork or documentation of her violation, documentation of the pending fine, or a copy of the photograph of the knife.
"They said 'no' and they said it's a national security issue. And I said what about my constitutional rights? And they said 'not at this point ... you don't have any'."
KOMO News did reach a spokesperson with the Transportation Security Administration for comment. They said they did not have record of Beaman's confrontation but did admit that TSA screeners are, by design, becoming more strict.
Despite continued warnings to passengers, TSA screeners say travelers continue to bring banned items in their carry-on luggage. Knives, guns, and other weapons are found and confiscated daily.
Fines issued for knives and other sharp objects range from $250 to $1,500. Fines issued for firearms discovered in carry-on luggage range from $1,500 to $7,500.
The TSA web site also indicates firearms violations will be referred for potential criminal prosecution. The same site does not propose the same criminal referral for knives like the one Cecilia Beaman was carrying.
"This is not the way my country should be treating me," she said. My concern is that if that's the way they're treating American citizens I would hate to think how they're treating other people. It's crazy."
The TSA reminds travelers that is has the authority to impose civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation.
"TSA needs the help of the traveling public in reducing the number of prohibited items brought to airport screening checkpoints," reads the Sanction Guidelines section of the TSA web site. "TSA recognizes that most passengers who carry prohibited items do so without any ill intent. TSA does not impose fines on the vast number of passengers who inadvertently carry prohibited items. Dealing with any prohibited item, however, adds time to the screening process both for the traveler who brought the item and for other travelers as well."
You can find a complete list of banned items, range of fines levied for violations, and information on how to plead your case with the TSA at www.tsa.gov.
Sounds like the TSA needs a complete overhaul, from the top, down. Remember the "band"? Didn't that turn out to be "nothing"? I stand corrected on that one. I won't fly again unless it's of the uttmost emergency.
TSA is not doing much, if anything to keep terrorists off the planes with these asinine policies against otherwise law-abiding citizens.
I will never fly again until the minimum-IQ TSA gestapo are history.
The biggest threat to commercial air traffic is shoulder-fired missiles, ala TWA Flight 800, and all the TSA morons in the world rooting through your underwear won't protect your flight from them.
The blame for this idiocy lies squarely with the Bush administration.
And they wonder why the airline industry is going bankrupt.
Do you know that she ever has?
That is true, since President Bush could sign an Executive Order to halt this TSA stupidity at any time.
Excellent point. Wonder if Grandma ever got all over one of her students for drawing a picture of a gun?
Matches are now banned as well, IIRC.
"She's a member of a teachers' union, I imagine. I'm not eager to side with her either. Democrats lie."
Ding! And out comes the true agenda for posting this article.
What you fail to understand, is that with any administration in place, even one of your Libertarian ones, we would have the same result.
It's called P.C., and it's indicative of a Liberal mental disease. As long as you have Liberals, you'll have this problem, regardless of who's in charge.
So far, all you have is an unsubstantiated allegation.
Meanwhile 11,000 illigals streamed over the border that day.
The "agenda" for posting this is to show how our rights are being systematically taken away, and also how anyone can be considered a terrorist by an inept beauracracy.
My guess is that they are in serious CYA mode.
You had me surprised, since I had not heard that one yet. However, it no longer matters to me. As far as I am concerned, I am now prohibited from flying on any American airline.
After checking the www.tsa.gov website, this is the current regulation:
As of April 14, 2005, you are no longer allowed to bring lighters in carry-on luggage or on your person. Checked Baggage Rules
As always, ALL fueled lighters are banned from checked baggage for safety reasons. Lighters without fuel are not considered hazardous material and therefore are permitted in unlimited quantities. Tip: Double-check your checked baggage for fueled lighters and your carry-on baggage and pockets for all lighters before arriving at the airport. Because of federal laws and operational considerations, TSA cannot return any prohibited items voluntarily abandoned at the checkpoint. Your airline is responsible for taking possession and disposing of all hazardous material.
Matches are not permitted in your checked baggage due to safety regulations, but up to four books of matches are allowed in your carry-on baggage or on your person. For safety reasons, strike anywhere matches are prohibited at all times from carry-on and checked baggage.
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