Carrying a concealed bookmark

A 52-year-old special education teacher will not be charged with carrying a “concealed weapon” — a weighted bookmark — in an airport.

Kathryn Harrington was flying home from vacation last month when screeners at the Tampa, Fla., airport found her bookmark. It’s an 8.5-inch leather strip with small lead weights at each end.

Airport police said it resembled a weighted weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious.

Harrington was handcuffed and taken away in a police car; she faced criminal charges and a hefty fine. Now she’s off the hook.

About Joanne


  1. You’re a 52-year-old special ed teacher with a really big heavy dangerous bookmark. Hands behind your back. Next? You’re a 27-year-old citizen of Yemen. Oh, no need to check you. That would be racial profiling. Enjoy your flight.

  2. I certainly don’t feel any safer, but at least the lines don’t move as slowly as they used to. The silliness is unabated — in Pittsburg over Labor Day I noticed one young woman that was pulled out of line and wanded and it was clear that it was because of rings on her toes. I hoped that she wasn’t wearing and underwire bra, too, since she’d never get out of there — however, I never found out because I went through painlessly…

  3. Sounds about right all along; an 8.5″ piece of leather with lead weights on the ends does, in fact, closely resemble a sap (aka cosh, aka blackjack), which is a bona-fide weapon (and banned in more’n a few places, as I understand it).

    Likewise, being released with no charges after the situation is explained sounds perfectly correct.

  4. Gee, Sigivaid:

    1. No notice that this innocuous item (see widely marketed to people with hand problems due to arthritis) is banned.

    2. “Secret” lists of banned items

    3. Woman forced to hire an attorney and rebook her flight–at a significant cost–without any recompense from the government.

    “Perfectly correct?” Sounds like a police state to me. Security theater–burdens on citizens without significantly increasing security.