Everything I Need to Know About the TSA I Learned in High School
by Cathy Cuthbert
I have a prediction about the TSA. The porn scanners will stay, one way or another.
How do I know? Because I have been an observer of government schooling for 25 years and I see much the same institutional and sociological dynamic going on in the airports as has been commonplace in government schools.
Making a comparison on an organizational level, we find similarity in the centralization of authority that mandates procedures and doles out lucrative contracts. Rapiscan, is the rough equivalent of textbook publishers, for example. There have been endless textbook conflicts over the years, yet no one ever proposes abolishing this centralized system. Quite the contrary, the movement to further centralization via national standards is stronger than ever. Don’t expect Rapiscan to be legislated away.
Local functionaries are generally not free to use discretion in performing their duties. However, they are never penalized and often rewarded for going that extra mile in devising creative interpretation and application of the rules in the name of safety. TSO prohibitions regarding knitting needles and mother’s milk are the equivalent of zero tolerance punishments for grade school children who use their fingers to mimic guns and bring butter knives to school. There have been some attempts to overturn the really crazy zero tolerance punishments, but the rules are still in force. Look for the same pattern with TSA regulations.