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Piling on – Air controller dad loses job when kids do his

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 08-03-2010

It’s hard to believe with all that’s happening in the world, but this story has dominated the TV networks every day.

An air traffic controller’s stunt in letting his 9-year-old twins direct planes has landed with a thud – on the kids.

The brother and sister are blaming themselves because their father has been suspended for bringing them to work at Kennedy Airport, a relative said Thursday.

“The kids are upset,” Glenn Duffy’s brother-in-law, Larry Johnstone, told the Daily News. “They feel it’s their fault … They’re thinking, ‘Daddy’s in trouble because of me.'”

[From We cost Dad his job! Kids who took over for Kennedy airport air traffic controller blame themselves]

Was it the horrible travesty and violation that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood suggests? Or was is just a typical “Bring your Child to Work” day?

My knee-jerk opinion was “mountain out of molehill,” but have come to agree with Ray LaHood that this is more than just bad judgment on the dad’s part. It wasn’t a case of him just bending the rules a little, and while nothing the kids did put anyone in danger, it showed a carelessness that could creep in if higher standards of security aren’t kept. As people in other professions have mentioned, would you want a cop’s child calling in crimes on a police radio? Would you want a surgeon asking his daughter to help prep a patient? There are lots of professions where this wouldn’t be an issue, but in these cases, kids need to get a simulated lesson on what daddy does at work, rather than bring them to really sit in.

But does it warrant five days of news coverage? More like a slap on the wrist for the dad and everyone back to work.