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A TSA agent thought the District of Columbia was a foreign country

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The United States is comprised of fifty states and the District of Columbia, which is the nation’s capital. This is something that the vast majority of American’s learned in elementary school. However, it seems that a Transportation Safety Administration agent at the Orlando International Airport must have missed that lesson.

A Cox Media Group reporter, by the name of Justin Gray, was flying out of the Orlando International Airport when he ran into a baffling, and slightly amusing problem. Gray, who lives in the District of Columbia, was stunned when a TSA agent claimed that his driver’s license wasn’t a valid form of identification.

After looking at Gray’s driver’s license, the TSA agent demanded to see his passport. Gray told the agent he wasn’t carrying his passport and asked why he needed it. Gray asserted that his driver’s license was perfectly legal and up-to-date, and should be the only identification that he needs. What was the issue then? It turns out that the TSA agent didn’t know where the District of Columbia was.

After explaining to the TSA agent that the District of Columbia is the capital of the United States, not some foreign country, the agent let Gray through security. Gray promptly contacted a TSA supervisor to complain and then tweeted about the experience. Minutes after the tweet was published, Gray was contacted by a TSA spokesman.

The spokesman said, “Officers are trained to identify fraudulent documents, which can potentially deter and detect individuals attempting to circumvent this layer of security.” The spokesman then assured Gray that all of the TSA agents in Orlando will be shown copies of a District of Columbia driver’s license in order to ensure this never happens again.

Critics of the TSA, of which there are many, believe that the incident with Gray is a sign that there are even bigger problems with the TSA than a poor knowledge of geography. “They simply have not been either applying or maintaining standards for good personnel,” said Douglas Kidd, with the National Association of Airline Passengers. “It makes you wonder what’s going on with their training and their policies,” said Kidd. Read more about this story here.

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