In South Africa, a 10-year-old boy from New Zealand was told by airport security to remove his shirt. The reason? Because it was ‘anxiety-causing’.
Stevie Lucas and his parents were on vacation. He was in the rainbow nation visiting his grandparents, which is where his mother hails from. According to the NZ Herald, things changed for them when they went to board a flight at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on December 17.
Airport security informed Stevie that he had to remove his shirt. It had a large and realistic picture of a snake on it. They wanted him to remove his shirt because of the potential for fellow passengers to be uncomfortable.
— aviation-fails (@aviation07fails) December 26, 2019
Stevie’s parents suggested that he could turn the shirt inside out and hide the snake after receiving the request. He did so and was able to board the flight without incident.
After the incident went public, the airport defended the right of the security to question what he was wearing. They thought that it was in the best interest of the other passengers.
“Security officers have the right to determine if an object has the potential to harm fellow passengers and crew members,” an airport representative said, as per the Daily Mail.
Twitter was buzzing with replies to what took place.
One Twitter user wrote: “The world’s gone crazy, what is the reason for this? How is a picture of a snake on a T-shirt going to cause anyone any problems or offense?”
The world’s gone crazy, what is the reason for this? How is a picture of a snake on a T-shirt going to cause anyone any problems or offence?
— Paul Reeves (@reeves607_paul) December 26, 2019
A second remarked: “Slytherin House objects most strenuously.”
Slytherin House objects most strenuously.
— Tommy Lonn (@tommylonn) December 26, 2019
A third person agreed with the decision, saying: “I also agree with the security on this one, this is very scary indeed.”
I also agree with the security on this one, this is very scary indeed.
— Thandeka Mbowane (@MissMbowayne) December 27, 2019
The family was unfazed by what took place and they proposed a toast to their trip when returning to New Zealand.