It seems the TSA still doesn’t “get it”. First, they made a serious error by not checking the baby. In theory, if this were a terrorist family, mom could have passed some weapon to dad on the baby. That is why the correct procedure is to check everyone again. Eventually they realized this mistake.
They really should have shutdown the airport themselves because if this is a terrorist family, there may be others working with them to whom they could have passed on the weapon (if there was one). Of course shutting down an airport is a major issue. But it is the fault of these officers for the original mistake. The entire airport would need to be evacuated and rechecked (yes, that is what is supposed to happen).
What they do not “get” is that this is NOT an issue about their authority to shutdown an airport or do pat-downs on children. The issue is about how they have handled the situations. They have been handling them very poorly. Screaming at children, or even their parents, is not appropriate. Sure, if people come in contact with someone that is unscreened, all those in that contact must be screened again. That’s just basic security logic.
They seem to be fearing the wrong things. The TSA officers need to be following what is shown on the website (link in previous post here). They should be dealing with children gently, and allow the parents or guardians to participate in getting the children screened, even if it means screening the adults again (which it should).
They need to be working with all the public “gently” because even though they must process everyone with no exceptions, the vast majority are not terrorists. And they do not need to shutdown a whole airport if the people who are unscreened are still there at the station to be screened.