Recently, two "free-range" children (age 10 and age 6) were held in custody for hours in Montgomery County, Maryland, as the parents frenetically sought the whereabouts of this children.
Full article from the Washington Post below the fold. Please read the entire article before commenting.
Montgomery County takes ‘free-range children’ into custody againThe local news reported that the younger child said that the two children were offered a ride home by the police, but then rode around in the car for two hours before being taken to the CPS office. Home is about two blocks away from the park, and the children were taken into custody some three hours before sunset.
The two Montgomery County children who were picked up last year while walking home alone were taken into custody again Sunday, authorities said.
The children of Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were taken into custody by county police at a park about 5 p.m. and turned over to the Child Protective Services agency, said Capt. Paul Starks, the county police spokesman. The children’s mother said they were released to the couple at 10:30 p.m. Sunday.
The parents said the children, who are 10 and 6 and have been described as “free-range children,” had been expected home at 6 p.m. Sunday. When that time passed, the parents said, they began looking for them.
“We have been searching for the kids for hours,’’ the mother said in a Facebook posting. They learned of the children’s whereabouts about 8 p.m. The mother said they later spent about a half-hour at the CPS offices in Rockville without being allowed to see them.
Starks said police were dispatched after a stranger saw the unaccompanied children in the park near Fenton and Easley streets. He said police took the children to the CPS office.
No charges had been placed, Starks said, and the matter remained under investigation.
After CPS investigated the earlier incident, the Meitivs were notified that a finding of “unsubstantiated neglect” had been made. That is one of three findings that can be made in neglect investigations. The others are “ruled out” and “indicated.”
An official said that the “unsubstantiated” finding is typically made when CPS has some information supporting a conclusion of child neglect, when seemingly credible reports are at odds with each other or when there is insufficient information for a more definitive conclusion.
The Meitivs’ case prompted debate about responsible parenting, child safety and the government’s role. The couple takes the view that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to make choices and progressively experience the world on their own.
According to WTOP:
The parents had to sign a temporary safety plan to take them home, saying they can’t leave the children unattendedAdditional reading: Petula Dvorak's column on the topic. Excerpt:
...This is all getting pretty ridiculous. Somehow, we’ve morphed from being a village that helps raise children to a parenting police state....
FEATURED QUESTION, in two parts: (1) Were the Montgomery County Police Department and the Montgomery County Department of Child Protective Service out of line with the actions taken on Sunday, April 12, 2015? (2) Should free-range parenting be forbidden by law?