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TSA punishes employee for leaving note about woman’s vibrator

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 14:43 EDT
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A note left in a woman's luggage by a TSA agent.
 
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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Wednesday that an employee had been punished after leaving a note for an American writer encouraging her to “get your freak on,” seemingly in response to discovering a vibrator in the woman’s luggage.

“TSA quickly launched an investigation and identified the employee responsible,” a post to the TSA’s official blog read. “That individual was immediately removed from screening operations and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated. The handwritten note was highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior.”

The note was posted to Twitter almost immediately after it was discovered, sparking something of a media firestorm.

Speaking to Raw Story earlier this week, the woman who was targeted — blogger Jill Filipovic, founder of Feministe – admitted that she first found the note funny, “but the more I think about it, the more disgusted I am.”

“It’s not a secret that TSA officials rifle through your belongings when you travel — and that’s bad enough — but the editorializing crosses (another) line,” she said. “I also imagine that whoever left the note assumed I’d be embarrassed about it, which makes the whole thing even worse — it’s not just a violation of privacy, it’s an attempt to humiliate a private citizen.”

Filipovic went on to say that she’ll reconsider how to transport such personal items in the future, if she does so at all. “[B]ut that’s a little like letting the terrorists win, isn’t it?” she added.

The TSA said officials had reached out to Filipovic to personally apologize.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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