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Parents of 6-Year-Old Pat-Down Girl Break Their Silence, Demand Change


"She really didn't understand what she had done wrong."

The parents of a 6-year-old girl who received a thorough pat-down by a TSA agent at a security checkpoint in New Orleans broke their silence this morning to "Good Morning America." Selene and Todd Drexel, from Kentucky, are now demanding the TSA change its security process for children.

Read our initial story.

Read the TSA's response.

"We struggle to teach our kids to protect themselves, to say 'no, it's not ok to touch me in this way in this area," the girl's mother, Selena, said. "Yet here we are saying it's ok for these people."

According to her, she asked for alternatives but was denied: "I did ask for alternatives, I asked for her to be rescanned. They just refused and said they were going to do what they were going to do."

The girl's father, Todd, says the pat-down sends mixed message:

"Initially she was just confused," Todd Drexel said. "She really didn't understand what she had done wrong." He said he and his wife struggled with how to explain to their child what had happened after teaching her previously it was not ok to be touched in certain places. "Now she's been pat down in a public setting, in an airport."

According to ABC News, the TSA defended the pat-down but said it is looking into how it might change the screening system:

The TSA said it has reviewed the tape and that the "officer followed proper current screening procedures." They added they "are exploring additional ways to focus its resources and move beyond a one-sized-fits-all system."

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