'Free Range' parents cleared of child neglect for letting their kids walk 1 mile, but...
...second case with CPS still pendingThe saga continues. The Maryland couple, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, dubbed the "free range parents" because they sometimes allow their kids to walk unsupervised on pre-determined routes that they think are safe (ie. what everybody did not so long ago), are being investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS) because of complaints from neighbors who saw the kids walking outside without adults. Katherine first wrote about an incident in January, when the kids were picked up in the middle of a 1-mile walk through a nice part of town, and I wrote about a second incident in April, when the kids were picked up by police and kept for hours without the parents being notified, and then brought to CPS because a neighbor called the police after seeing the kids walk 0.3-mile from home.
The good news is that CPS has "ruled out" any charges of child neglect in the first case. The bad news is that it took them 5 months to figure out that walking a mile to your home isn't child abuse. Maybe that time could have been more productively spent investigating people who actually cause harm to their children?
The second investigation is still ongoing, and hopefully nobody has an aneurysm and rules that walking 0.3-mile from home is neglect... But the danger remains that vindictive neighbors keep calling the police every time those now-notorious kids set a foot outside. What a world!
Here is a photo of the area where the kids have been picked up the first time. I took that photo because I was there, and it looked like a perfectly fine area.
© Michael Graham Richard -- The Discovery building in Silver Spring, MD, where the Meitiv children were stopped and picked up by police
Katherine has written an interesting piece on "When 'Stranger Danger' is actually the police and CPS". Check it out.