Discrimination at Airports: TSA Training Program

You have been hired by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to develop a training program for its employees to address the discrimination that people experience at airports.

Task Force: Discrimination at Airports: TSA Training Program

Congratulations!

You have been hired by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to develop a training program for its employees to address the discrimination that people experience at airports. 

Why Are We Doing This?

Certain groups have been historically discriminated against by TSA, including Black people, people of middle eastern and south asian descent, and trans and nonbinary people, among other marginalized groups. Many people feel unfairly profiled by TSA agents and point out that scanners weren’t designed with diverse bodies, hairstyles, and religious head coverings in mind. This means that certain groups are disproportionately singled out for pat downs, which can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. 

Steps

  1. Research different accounts of discrimination by the TSA. 
    1. What different groups have claimed unfair profiling? How are they treated by TSA agents? 
    2. Also, research some proposed solutions. What are people asking to change? 
  2. Now, assuming that you can’t change the technology available at airports, design a training program for agents that can reduce incidents of discrimination. Think about: 
    1. What knowledge do agents need to have about different races, genders, religions, etc? 
    2. How can agents take different identities into consideration when interacting with travelers? 
    3. What should hiring managers consider when they’re hiring new agents? 
    4. How will you incorporate the concerns of the most affected groups in your training program?  
    5. What will the structure of your training program be? How often will agents have to participate in it? 
  3. Think through the possible objections to your program and how you would respond.  
  4. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your program will help solve the issue of discrimination at airports. 

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You do not have to come up with an exhaustive plan. It’s better to come up with a few ideas that you feel confident with and spend time thinking through possible objections to them. 
  • You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your idea would work. 
  • Your suggestions should be things that the TSA could realistically implement. 

 

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