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Father: TSA Got Aggressive With Cerebral Palsy-Stricken 7-Year-Old From Long Island

Last Week, CBS 2 Reported How Dina Frank Learned To Walk By Using Botox
Dina Frank

Dina Frank has cerebral palsy and used to get around by wheelchair, but thanks to an unusual coupling of drugs, she can now walk. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — She learned to walk at 7 years old, but this week she walked right into a national controversy.

CBS 2 brought you the story of Dina Frank’s inspirational journey to her first steps last week. Now, her family says the Transportation Security Administration got aggressive with her during a trip through John F. Kennedy International Airport security, Sean Hennessey reported.

Just when you thought you heard it all about the TSA comes this: agents stopping and re-screening a Long Island girl with cerebral palsy all because of her canes and orthotics.

In CBS 2’s story, which first aired Friday, you learned of a 7-year-old who took steps for the first time with the help of Botox. But this past Monday her family was trying to board a JetBlue flight to Florida. Her orthotics set off the alarm, as they usually do, and agents said swabbing her leg braces would suffice for her security examination. However, an hour later, just as the family was boarding its flight, the TSA found the Frank family and demanded they come back to the security area because the initial screening wasn’t properly done, the girl’s father, Joshua Frank, told Hennessey by phone on Wednesday night.

Joshua Frank said agents scared his daughter into tears, but they also caused the family to miss their flight. He called the TSA policy misguided.

“They have to do this in a more humane manner. I feel their screeners are amateur. I feel like they’re unprofessional,” he said. “The fact that they consider her walking devices and her cane to be a suspicious device, that’s treating her like a terrorist.”

Dina Frank and her family eventually got to Miami on a later flight. Joshua Frank said he’s not interested in legal action, but does plan on speaking to Long Island Rep. Peter King, the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

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