Watching the TSA’s Screening Policy

On my way to Washington DC for this week’s army campaign launch, I passed through a number of airports. Standing in line for security at Boston Logan, weary and out of breath from lugging my carry-ons across 2 terminals to change plans, I found myself smiling. Why? There, in the security lane next to mine was a young man wearing a sweatshirt and cargo shorts being patted down by a TSA officer. The officer slowly explained to him that because he was wearing loose fitting clothing, he would need to undergo a secondary screening. The sight had me nearly jumping for joy.

You see, from early on in the TSA campaign, I have always wondered why Sikh turbans are more likely to be searched than other “normal” items of clothing. In our meetings, we have often pressed the TSA to explain why our turbans need to be checked if the items they are afraid of are small enough to hide anywhere. Many Sikhs who have reported screenings to us have specifically noted that others with bulky or loose fitting clothing are permitted through, while Sikhs are stopped.

I’m not sure how TSOs at Boston Logan treat dastaars. I didn’t have a chance to watch a sardar going through during my short time there. But if the common sense approach I witnessed being used in this case is anything to go by, I’m hopeful we are on the right track!

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