‘Unsubstantiated’ child neglect finding for ‘free-range’ parents

Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring

The Maryland parents investigated for letting their young children walk home by themselves from a park were found responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect in a decision that has not fully resolved their clash with authorities over questions of parenting and children’s safety.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv hoped the nationally debated case — which has lit up social media and brought a dozen television film crews to their Silver Spring home — would be dismissed after a two-month investigation by Montgomery County Child Protective Services.

But the finding of unsubstantiated child neglect means CPS will keep a file on the family for at least five years and leaves open the question of what would happen if the Meitiv children get reported again for walking without adult supervision.

The parents say they will continue to allow their son, Rafi, 10, and daughter Dvora, 6, to play or walk together, and won’t be swayed by the CPS finding.

“We don’t feel it was appropriate for an investigation to start, much less conclude that we are responsible for some form of child neglect,” said Danielle Meitiv, who said she and her husband plan to appeal and worry about being investigated again by CPS…

It is hard for me to evaluate this since I am not familiar with the neighbourhood that the children were walking in. Certainly, when I was 10 and lived in Quesnel, BC, the walk to school was considered perfectly reasonable. But it was a small town in the early 1960’s. Most of the side roads were not even paved.

And even so, my mother had already given both of us girls a scary talk about ‘bad men’ and how they might try to trick you into going with them.

h/t Chicago Boyz