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Reporting “TSA In Turmoil”: A Conversation With Danielle Prieur & Abe Aboraya

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TSA security checkpoints are ready with 17 lanes. Photo: Isaac Babcock / WMFE

This week the 90.7 news team has been reporting on workplace culture at the TSA, after the death of Transportation Security Office Robert Henry in February.

Reporters Abe Aboraya and Danielle Prieur spent months talking to Henry’s family, friends, colleagues and managers, and investigating allegations of a toxic workplace culture. 

Prieur says investigating the circumstances of his death and allegations of workplace bullying helped her go beyond the headlines and tell the story of who he was.

“Just because somebody struggles with some of the things that he struggled with, doesn’t mean that that was who he was as a person.”

Part of the investigation involved sending out a survey to TSOs across the country to see what their experiences were. More than 80 people responded with stories of problems at their workplace.

Aboraya says TSA is now rolling out training for managers to recognize warning signs of suicidal ideation. And they are trying to get the idea out to employees that report misconduct or harassment are protected against retaliation.

Aboraya says what stood out for him was that people were willing to talk candidly about dealing with mental health issues in the workplace.

“Mental health is still a stigma in the country, it’s still a very difficult topic to talk [about],” he says.

“It’s refreshing to see that people are willing to talk about it, be out in the open about it, and take some good from it.”

Listen to the conversation by clicking on the player above.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »