Maryland parents investigated for neglect after letting kids walk home alone from par

Poca

Registered User
This is crazy to me


Maryland parents investigated for neglect after letting kids walk home alone from park | National Post

It was a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. But what the parents saw as a moment of independence for their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, they say authorities viewed much differently.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say they are being investigated for neglect for the Dec. 20 trek — in a case they say reflects a clash of ideas about how safe the world is and whether parents are free to make their own choices about raising their children.

“We wouldn’t have let them do it if we didn’t think they were ready for it,” Danielle said.

She said her son and daughter have previously paired up for walks around the block, to a nearby 7-Eleven and to a library about three-quarters of a mile away. “They have proven they are responsible,” she said. “They’ve developed these skills.”

The Meitivs say they believe in “free-range” parenting, a movement that has been a counterpoint to the hyper-vigilance of “helicopter” parenting, with the idea that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to progressively test limits, make choices and venture out in the world.

“The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood,” she said. “I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”

On Dec. 20, Alexander agreed to let the children, Rafi and Dvora, walk from Woodside Park to their home, a mile south, in an area the family says the children know well.

The children made it about halfway.

Police picked up the children near the Discovery building, the family said, after someone reported seeing them.

Police on Wednesday did not immediately have information on the case. But a spokeswoman said that when concerns are reported, “we have a responsibility as part of our duty to check on people’s welfare.”

The Meitivs say their son told police that he and his sister were not doing anything illegal and are allowed to walk. Usually, their mother said, the children carry a laminated card with parent contact information that says: “I am not lost. I am a free-range kid.” The kids didn’t have the card that day.

Danielle said she and her husband give parenting a lot of thought.

“Parenthood is an exercise in risk management,” she said. “Every day, we decide: Are we going to let our kids play football? Are we going to let them do a sleep####over? Are we going to let them climb a tree? We’re not saying parents should abandon all caution. We’re saying parents should pay attention to risks that are dangerous and likely to happen.”

She added: “Abductions are extremely rare. Car accidents are not. The number one cause of death for children of their age is a car accident.”

Danielle is a climate-science consultant, and Alexander is a physicist at the National Institutes of Health.

Alexander said he had a tense time with police on Dec. 20 when officers returned his children, asked for his identification and told him about the dangers of the world.

The more lasting issue has been with Montgomery County Child Protective Services, he said, which showed up a couple of hours after the police left.

Mary Anderson, a spokeswoman for CPS, said she could not comment on cases but that neglect investigations typically focus on questions of whether there has been a failure to provide proper care and supervision.

In such investigations, she said, CPS may look for guidance to a state law about leaving children unattended, which says children younger than 8 must be left with a reliable person who is at least 13 years old. The law covers dwellings, enclosures and vehicles.

It seemed such a huge violation of privacy to examine my house because my kids were walking home
The Meitivs say that on Dec. 20, a CPS worker required Alexander to sign a safety plan pledging he would not leave his children unsupervised until the following Monday, when CPS would follow up. At first he refused, saying he needed to talk to a lawyer, his wife said, but changed his mind when he was told his children would be removed if he did not comply.

Following the holidays, the family said, CPS called again, saying the agency needed to inquire further and visit the family’s home. Danielle said she resisted.

“It seemed such a huge violation of privacy to examine my house because my kids were walking home,” she said.

This week, a CPS social worker showed up at her door, she said. She did not let him in. She said she was stunned to later learn from the principal that her children were interviewed at school.

The family has a meeting set for next week at CPS offices in Rockville.

“I think what CPS considered neglect, we felt was an essential part of growing up and maturing,” Alexander said. “We feel we’re being bullied into a point of view about child-rearing that we strongly disagree with.”
 

Hello BKLYN

Searching For Answers
this is a touchy subject...
When i was 10 that was when i started going home by myself.. and it was about a mile from school to home... Really was supposed to be taking the bus but some days i walked it like say when the bus took too long and along the way when i was i am already close to home so it don't make sense taking the bus now... I was taking the school bus before that... But i wouldn't let a 10 year old be responsible for a 6 year for that trek... no way.
 

notorious saga

Sagattarius
Back when I was going to school I would of been glad if my walk to school was just a mile, I had a much longer walk to school and back every single school day of the week. The only difference with these kids walk to school would probably be if they had to walk in the cold.
 

LIONESS onda RISE

Registered User
In Maryland, you cannot leave a child under the age if 8 alone nor with someone younger than 13. At age 8 tho, it's whatever!

Situation is a bit strange for me because I could not imagine allowing my kids to walk a mile and they are 10 and 12.. I have a hard time letting them walk home from school and it's no more than 2 blocks away! That said, the parents have a right to raise their children as "free range" if the choose! That neighborhood and that stretch is pretty safe and quiet..don't think they were in danger but i do think it was kinda cold for that kind of walk
 

bktrini305

Registered User
I used to walk home a half a mile at age 7 and when i turned maybe 9 my 6 year old brother joined me. But idk if that's good or not. I was particularly independent though.
 

Alpha Unit

Insurgent
Hmmm. touchy subject depending on ones mindset. I don't really see an issue except for weather conditions. by 10 I was walking an easy mile from home to where we took the bus or any other transport to school on a daily basis.
 

Swollen

Players Play I Coach
Hmmm. touchy subject depending on ones mindset. I don't really see an issue except for weather conditions. by 10 I was walking an easy mile from home to where we took the bus or any other transport to school on a daily basis.
Pon da lil island
 

iPicong

New member
very simple.........children should not be walking the streets alone..........it's all chest thumping until they get grabbed and put in the back of a cargo van to never be seen again or molested.
 

Poca

Registered User
But that happens to grown women too.


very simple.........children should not be walking the streets alone..........it's all chest thumping until they get grabbed and put in the back of a cargo van to never be seen again or molested.
 

iPicong

New member
But that happens to grown women too.
:confused ...........ok it early in d year and I go be patient wit yuh sugar plum plum........adults are responsible to keep children safe and should put children in best possible situations for them to be safe.........a grown woman was hopefully showed as a child how to put herself in the best possible situation to be safe.........children are also smaller and not as experienced as a grown woman.........thus may not be able to physically fight off an attacker or have the mental reference of what may be a safe or unsafe situation to be abducted........you get it now? You too rastaloc
 

Poca

Registered User
at what age and how should the parent start it?





:confused ...........ok it early in d year and I go be patient wit yuh sugar plum plum........adults are responsible to keep children safe and should put children in best possible situations for them to be safe.........a grown woman was hopefully showed as a child how to put herself in the best possible situation to be safe.........children are also smaller and not as experienced as a grown woman.........thus may not be able to physically fight off an attacker or have the mental reference of what may be a safe or unsafe situation to be abducted........you get it now? You too rastaloc
 

iPicong

New member
at what age and how should the parent start it?
Around 15-16..........and I'm being liberal.........you not only have to worry about adults hurting your kids but also little gang banging and general delinquent shitheads wanting to rob and slice dem up........and it's to me because I had to go thru it that my kids should go thru it........maybe I was just lucky or shrewd enough to survive.......why chance your kids lives if you can do better for them.
 

Poca

Registered User
I guess it all depends on the neighbourhood. I feel that 15-16 is probably too late already because if they are kept in a cage until that age they have been in touch with one of those types already and were not taught how to react.



Around 15-16..........and I'm being liberal.........you not only have to worry about adults hurting your kids but also little gang banging and general delinquent shitheads wanting to rob and slice dem up........and it's to me because I had to go thru it that my kids should go thru it........maybe I was just lucky or shrewd enough to survive.......why chance your kids lives if you can do better for them.
 

iPicong

New member
I guess it all depends on the neighbourhood. I feel that 15-16 is probably too late already because if they are kept in a cage until that age they have been in touch with one of those types already and were not taught how to react.
Yes and no with the neighborhood.........deviants all over.......you can give your kids some freedom......because they need to be able to recognize the shit that is floating around in the world that they need to avoid........but you can't just give them free reign to navigate on their own
 

Poca

Registered User
I agree but 15-16 is still too late in my mind to start letting them walk outside alone. at 16 they can drive, that is a BIG responsibility. They must be trusted on their own without a car before giving them the ultimate freedom ( in their eyes).


Yes and no with the neighborhood.........deviants all over.......you can give your kids some freedom......because they need to be able to recognize the shit that is floating around in the world that they need to avoid........but you can't just give them free reign to navigate on their own
 
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