From Maryland Mom Danielle Meitiv’s Facebook Page

Here is what the “Maryland Free-Range Mom” Danielle Meitiv wrote regarding last night’s ordeal with the police and child “protective” services:

The police coerced our children into the back of a patrol car and kept them trapped there for three hours, without notifying us, before bringing them to the Crisis Center, and holding them there without dinner for another two and a half hours. We finally got home at 11pm and the kids slept in our room because we were all exhausted and terrified.

How has this incident made the Meitiv children any safer? What were they protected from? As many of you commented last night: These Maryland kids keep getting kidnapped — by the authorities.

We need to pass the Free-Range Kids & Parents Bill of Rights. Bring it to your next town meeting. Write to the town paper. Hand it to the mayor. Modify it any way you’d like — its basic premise is simple and SO NECESSARY:

Children have the right to some unsupervised time, and parents have the right to give it to them without getting arrested.

Spread the word. – L.

Time for a Free-Range Bill of Rights

Time for a Free-Range Bill of Rights

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172 Responses to From Maryland Mom Danielle Meitiv’s Facebook Page

  1. Marion April 13, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    Well, if your children were supervised you would not have lost them for three hours in the safety of a police car, now would you? Lucky for you it was the police who had them, and not something a lot more dangerous

  2. Maresi April 13, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    Marion, you must be new here.

  3. Pophouse April 13, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    It is clear that the police are waiting for an excuse to harass these people. And Marion, these kids are well old enough to be out of their parent’s sight for a little bit. Your stranger-danger alarmism won’t work here.

  4. Rebecca April 13, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    I’m sorry Marion you seemed to have found yourself here by mistake, perhaps you were looking for the nancy grace fan page? We follow Lenore because she is the voice of reason saying our children deserve the same kind of childhood the children of past generations had I.e. Being able to play at the neighborhood park without constant supervision. These are not toddlers, their parents have the right to let them walk less than. A mile to neighborhood park. They also have a right not to live in fear from busybody burecrats who want to bully these parents into submission.

    Your holier than thou attitude with a dose of moral panic is what created this problem. I’m sure you’d be first to call the authorites on happy kids playing unattended in your neighborhood.

  5. Amanda April 13, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    It’s insane to me… I’m just waiting for this to happen to me. My brother and I (all our friends too) are apparently lucky we survived childhood!! And Marion must be just trolling to get people all riled up. Pay no attention to the warrior behind the computer screen.

  6. Warren April 13, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    Marion,
    Just wait until a group of people disagree with how you do something, and you get arrested or your kids taken from you.

  7. Paul April 13, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    State-sponsored kidnapping is how this ought to be named – repeatedly and LOUDLY. And a call to drastically reduce if not eliminate some positions & budgets to give agencies a much-needed “two-by-four to the head” to get their attention that this misbehavior of “CPS” (P in name only, it seems – or does it really stand for Corrupt Political System?) is NOT acceptable.

  8. caiti April 13, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    Warren is exactly right. On the most basic level this is about who gets to decide how to parent individual children: The state, who lumps all children together and decides on restrictions based on the lowest common denominator and an interest in creating a pliable citizenry; or the parents, who know their own children intimately and are likely to have their individual children’s best interest at heart regardless of what’s good for the “average” child.

  9. Laura April 13, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    I think Marion was being sarcastic.

  10. nicole Gainey April 13, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    I totally agree with Caiti, this also happened to My Son & I for letting him go play at the park .4 of a mile from my home & My Son has his own Cell.The police are over stepping and do not think about the damage this causes to the children, my arrest was 8 months ago & that one day in our life caused so much unnecessary damage that I am still dealing with & have my son in therapy now. These kinds of arrest & harassment have to stop, a parent knows what their child is capable of doing not the police or cps!

  11. E April 13, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    Sometimes I can’t remember how old I was when I did [fill in the blank] but I know before age 10 I had free range of my neighborhood because we moved to a different state when I was 10. I know I played outside until my Mom rang a big bell indicating it was time to come home (I hated that bell as a kid, but I have it now as a memento and my kids thought it was great). I walked or rode my bike to the local pool(s) in our community.

    The police in our community would have been doing nothing but picking up kids if being unsupervised at 9 or 10 was a concern.

  12. Katie April 13, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    This is wrong on so many levels. Is this action by CPS really legal in the state of Maryland? This has become a personal vendetta for CPS because of the bad press they received before. I think the Meitivs should get a good lawyer and sort out exactly where the CPS is crossing the line. Get the laws changed! Mobilize!

    I have a friend whose daughter is in my Girl Scout troop. The friend grew up in Colombia and has a genuine fear of kidnapping. She isn’t into camping, so her daughter has not been allowed to join the campouts or hikes at all. It’s a shame. I know her irrational fear was formed in a place where it probably was rational. Maybe a family member or someone close to her was kidnapped. Still, it’s hard to have this very smart capable kid left out.

    We live in a wonderfully free-range neighborhood and any given afternoon will find a gang of kids playing outside unsupervised. I do worry about someone calling the cops sometimes. But what has happened here is that younger sibs who want to play with the “gang” have their moms out on porches loosely watching while visiting. All the parents benefit from the preschooler’s moms, because they’re hanging out, at a distance.

  13. Jessica April 13, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    It sounds as if CPS/ police have had their egos hurt by the publicity of this case and went looking for some payback. Maybe not, but it sure seems that way. They are certainly harassing this poor family. Is there legal recourse available to this family? I’m thinking they need a great lawyer to protect their rights. This has to be stopped!

  14. Jrabach April 13, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    It’s the people who call 911 who get me. If they REALLY thought the kids were in danger, shouldn’t they have walked outside to talk with the children, and/or escort them home (overtly or covertly, depending on how much they wanted to get involved)? Why wait for police to show up if the kids are in danger of being snatched AT ANY MOMENT! Geez…. get some rational thought. And then put the phone down.

  15. Jessica C April 13, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Here’s my question: I know that as adults, if we’re not being charged with a crime, the police have no right to detain us or have us go with them anywhere. Is the same true for children? Could these children have said, you have no right to detain us or take us anywhere, and walked off? If the cops bullied/forced these kids into the car where no crime was being committed, then yeah, that’s unlawful imprisonment, right? I’m just having trouble finding anything that addresses this particular situation.

  16. Arlington Mom April 13, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    First of all, I am inside-out over this. Kidnapping it is! I want to agree with the folks who posted, “If you were really concerned about the kids…” Two weeks ago, I was at an indoor pool packed for an Easter party. A younger kid kept hanging around us until eventually I asked where his caregiver was. He explained he couldn’t find her. So instead of calling the cops, I walked him around the facility until we found the person. I didn’t mind watching the kid while he was hanging out with us and I also didn’t mind helping him find his caregiver so I could go into the pool. I cared about him even though we were strangers and he was thankful. Please donate to the Meitiv cause so they can get a good lawyer. This will set a precedence I believe since the media is watching.

  17. Richard April 13, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    @Jrabach: “It’s the people who call 911 who get me. If they REALLY thought the kids were in danger, shouldn’t they have walked outside to talk with the children, and/or escort them home (overtly or covertly, depending on how much they wanted to get involved)?”

    Nope. At least not if they were men (even dads). You see, in this modern “safety above all else” culture we have, that’s a great way to get yourself arrested under suspicion that you’re abducting the kids yourself – which is really sad.

  18. Les April 13, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    Do the Meitivs have a legal defense fund or a fundraising site? I would like to donate.

  19. FLmom April 13, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Please let us know how we can help. Harassment has to stop!

    Our kids are the same age as yours. Due to geographical location (south florida), I do not let my kids walk to the park alone. When we visit my parents, kids are free to play outside without supervision. It is amazing how infantile they look in comparison to the kids my parents neighborhood.

  20. TRS April 13, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    I feel so bad for these parents. I digress – I would have probably not let my kids walk anywhere alone after the first confrontation with CPS. Not because I fear they would get abducted by a malicious stranger but because I would not my kids taken from me. I have to really question their judgement. They are using their kids as pawns in a battle they are just not going to win. My suggestion is to move to an area that is better to allow your kids some freedom. I hate to have them do this but they really need to think about their kids rather than their pride.

  21. Morgan April 13, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    When i was a kid, which wasn’t that long ago, i was sent out of the house at 8am and told to come home for lunch then kicked back out till the street lights came on. Communities set things up so you CAN’T let your kids play in your own yard but the parent MUST be supervising at all times? That’s not really possible. I don’t know about other parents but i have stuff i have to do in the house during the day. Sending my kid to the park to play while i do dishes or vacuum or whatever house work i have to do is the way things get done. But now my kids can be kidnapped if i do that? That is just WRONG.

  22. Anna April 13, 2015 at 10:55 am #

    Umm, was I the only one who thought Marion was being sarcastic?

  23. TRS April 13, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    I need to add to my previous comment. I have been in this situation. The police were called on me because I walked away from my kids that were in an enclosed playground at Kings Dominion to use the bathroom. They were 9,9, and 5 and the time. I came back and security and a hoard of vigilante moms were waiting. The Security Guard let us go – thank God!!!!! After that situation I stopped leaving my kids unattended for the fear of the authorities not because I was afraid something bad would have happened to them. Now they are 15, 15, and 10. They pretty much have total free range. My 10 yo walks the dog all the time on her own. So far no visits from the cops. If they did – she would stop for a few years. In my opinion – I just would not want my kids in Foster Care because I wanted to prove my point and would put my pride in check. It is just not worth the battle.

  24. Michelle April 13, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    TRS, I applaud the Meitivs for taking a stand. They’re working to make their neighborhood a better place for their own kids, and for all the neighborhood kids, too. I was much more timid after CPS threatened our family, and I wish I hadn’t been. Now I have two more kids who are, or will be, approaching the age to go play outside alone,and I wish I’d already settled it that they’d be able to do so without interference.

    I wish the Meitivs lived in my neighborhood. We could send our kids out together. They say you can’t fight City Hall – I say City Hall can’t fight all of us!

  25. Wanta be Free April 13, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    Luck on a good day when they come home safe & sound & unfortunate travesty on a bad day should something horrible occurs.
    Some neighborhood are good for free range kids & some neighbors are not.

  26. Dianna April 13, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    Marion’s comment sounds exactly like the kind of sarcastic comments I make. There is no reason for people to jump down her throat.

  27. Michelle April 13, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    PS, TRS, while I understand your position, I have to say that I don’t respect it. When we cower from abuse of authority, we don’t just hurt ourselves. We empower and embolden ethem to harass the next guy.

    In my early days of homeschooling, I read a wonderful response to the question, “When the school district makes demands that they aren’t legally permitted to make, why shouldn’t we just comply to make things easier?” The answer, of course, is that in so doing you set a precedent. If you cave this time, they will expect you to cave next time, and they’ll expect the next family to, as well.

    If you don’t vigorously defend your rights, you lose them!

  28. Amy April 13, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    this breaks my heArt. All the police have done here is made the children terrified of them!!! This was not the right decision at all. So devastating

  29. TRS April 13, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    I just think it would do more mental harm to my kids to confront the authorities in this manner. I think she has her kids back in her custody now but if she thinks CPS is going to back off – they are not. They have the power and make the rules. I bet her kids will now be afraid to be on their own for a good time now. I can imagine they are terrified of the police, CPS…… it is not good. The whole experience probably has been traumatic for them.

    It is wrong. Why make your kids go through this crap to change the rules and prove a point. Think of their mental well being.

  30. Courtney April 13, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Let me preface my comment by saying I fully support parents being able to let their children have unsupervised time and allowing them “to be kids”. I certainly was able to do that growing up. In fact, I was allowed to be much more ‘in danger’ come to think of it. My cousins and I road atvs in the mountains, road bikes on the roads, swam in the pool when he was no more than 13 and I was probably 8… totally unattended. I had a great childhood and feel sad for children now who cannot. But I think part of that is the area in which these kids live (because I too now live in this area.) I think the main issue is that Silver Spring is pretty close to the city and that causes alarm… especially with all the grown adults that have gone missing in and around the Rock Creek Park area and other DC trails over the last 5 years.

  31. TRS April 13, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    My kids were extremely upset after that experience. They were not event taken away. I made the decision to follow the guidelines set by my County which does allow my 10yo to be home alone and outside on her own walking the dog in our neighborhood.

  32. TRS April 13, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    Courtney, I know that area well. I probably would not let my kids at that age walk around that urban area because the traffic is horrid and there are a ton of hit and run accidents on pedestrians – even adults. I live in Northern, VA – there are free range neighborhoods and there are not. I think in this area traffic really dictates the amount of kids you see out riding bikes, walking on their own. In Vienna, VA kids are everywhere – riding their bikes to the pool, going to the library….. It is more of a small town atmosphere.

  33. Michelle April 13, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    The kids are terrified because they are being harassed by out of control government officials abusing their authority. It’s a terrible world if daring to live your life and exercise your rights means that you caused your own oppression by abusive authority.

    I also disagree that being “too close to the city” is a problem. I grew up inside the loop in the 4th largest city in America. It was a nice, middle class neighborhood, and we were all Free Range Kids. My kids are growing up in a suburb on the very edge of the same city. If anything, I wish we lived closer in so my teenagers would have access to the bus system.

  34. Vicki Bradley April 13, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    I’ve read and re-read Marion’s comment a few times and I don’t think she’s being sarcastic – there’s nothing in the way she wrote her comment to imply that she is. Someone really needs to invent “Sarcastica” as a font!

  35. Andrew April 13, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    Clearly, this town is a dangerous place for children to be. Therefore, any business thinking of relocating, or opening up a branch office in the town, or the state of Maryland in general, should consider some place else. After all, if it’s so dangerous for kids, I wouldn’t want to endanger my family by living there.

  36. TRS April 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    Michelle, They were walking through down town Silver Spring area not some neighborhood. I will say that the predators here is the government and I would protect my kids best by not pushing the boundaries with them and continue to parade my freaking kids in public for my 15 min of fame. Ridiculous. This family needs to fight these laws through the proper channels and stop putting these kids through this trauma. Move or stop. It is that simple.

  37. Vicki Bradley April 13, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    @TRS Wow, you really cave to authority, even though in this case they’re completely in the wrong and stepping way out of line!

  38. Rebekah April 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Why is CPS and the police harrassing this family?

    This happened to me a year ago. The police referred our family to CPS because we had left our 10 year old home alone for 30 minutes, and she called 911 when she found that our neighbors’ 4 month old puppy was in distress and she couldn’t get to it. CPS called me at work and said they were coming to my house to investigate, and I had to get to Springfield, VA from DC in 30 minutes. The CPS worker walked around our house looking for anything that might not be safe for our daughter. They made us sign a one-year safety plan that required us to put those baby door handle cover thingies on closets that contained tools or glue guns or anything that they deemed might be unsafe. We had to put matches in a lock box and install child safety contraptions on doors for cabinets that contained cleaning solvents. In essence, they wanted us to treat her like she was 3 or 4. Moreover, we were told that we could not leave her alone, at all, ever. That if she was playing in her room, we should check on her every 30 minutes to make sure she was safe. She should not be allowed outside in our yard to play – even though we have a six foot high fence.

    When I was 10, I was running all over Rochelle, Illinois (a city about the size of Silver Spring, MD) with my 9 year old sister in tow – my parents taught us to be independent, and we knew to look both ways before crossing the street and to not talk to strangers. I was mopping the floors and doing the dishes and cleaning the toilets – with cleaning solvents. I was cooking meals for my family. All the things that prepared me for adulthood. I just don’t get what CPS is doing! Why are they harrassing this family when there are so many monsters out there mistreating their children?

  39. Dean Whinery April 13, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    Smacks of harassment, doesn’t it?

  40. david April 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    I think many of you are missing the point here. A 6 or 10 year old are not old enough or mature enough to be roaming around at night. Nothing says they cannot play outside of their house or in their yard past a certain time. When I was growing up in the 80’s, my time to go inside was when the street lights came on. However, I was not a mile or more away from home at 6. I was in the immediate area or a few houses away from the front of my house. I typically had to be within earshot of my mother’s voice. I think that is reasonable to allow your kids the freedom to play outside.

    What is unreasonable is letting your kids walk a mile or more away from your home and roam around the neighborhood, by themselves. Let your kids grow up and take on responsibility, but do it responsibly. The kids were walking along, contacted by the police and taken for their safety. In the news article, it reports that the kids were contacted at about 5 pm. It was at 630pm that the parents decided to become frantic when their children had not come home. At least a full 90 mins pass before the parents begin to worry? How long had the children been gone?

    Do not be a lazy parent. If your kid wants to go to the park, take them there, play with them, have a picnic. If you want your kids to roam around, buy some land and let them roam around in your field.

  41. John April 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Goodness Rebekah, what an absolute shame. Your daughter is 10-years-old but yet CPS told you that you needed baby door handle covers and a lockbox for matches AND that you had to check on her every 30 minutes even when she was playing in her room INSIDE the house and that you never should let her outside to play on her own?? Now you’re not exaggerating any of this, are you? If this is true, CPS needs to be examined themselves for ethics and common sense.

    Don’t these “better safe than sorry” people realize that constant supervision of children brings with it a whole set of consequences too? In one of Lenore’s articles, it was mentioned that more parents are now accompanying their kids to college registration whereas 30 years ago, 18-year-old incoming college Freshman would have been embarrassed to death if their parents accompanied them to registration! How are kids EVER gonna function on their own when they become young adults if they receive constant supervision when they’re children?

  42. TRS April 13, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    Yes I would!!! My kids well being far outweighs my pride.

  43. Warren April 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    David,
    Let me be the first to tell you to get your facts straight.
    The kids were picked up a 5, not expected home until 6. So not being frantic until half past 6, is what reasonable people do.

    Nothing wrong with those ages of kids doing what they were doing. It was not night, as the sun is still up around 8 pm.

    Just because you were not trusted enough to go that distance, in no way applies to these kids. Your parents did not set the standard.
    Thank you for playing, or would you like to go for double jeopardy?

  44. Anna April 13, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    David, the only reason the kids were out “at night” is that the cops picked them up and prevented them from going home – incidentally holding them until 10:30 without dinner. (Speaking of which, if the Meitivs withheld dinner and failed to put the kids to bed until then, you can bet your boots CPS would be using it as proof of neglect; how come it’s somehow okay when the authorities do it?) The kids attempted to head home before 5; it’s the cops who stopped them. As to your other question, the kids were due home at 6, which is why the parents didn’t start worrying until then.

  45. JanetC April 13, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Was it the same concern troll neighbors who called the police?

  46. TRS April 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Rebecca, I live in Fairfax County too. Here are the County guidelines. You could have absolutely used this to protect your child from this. I live in Vienna and my 10 is home alone after school for about an hour most days.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/childrenyouth/supervision_eng.htm

    7 years and under:
    Should not be left alone for any period of time. This may include leaving children unattended in cars, playgrounds, and backyards. The determining consideration would be the dangers in the environment and the ability of the caretaker to intervene.

    8 to 10 years:
    Should not be left alone for more than 1½ hours and only during daylight and early evening hours.

    11 to 12 years:
    May be left alone for up to 3 hours but not late at night or in circumstances requiring inappropriate responsibility.

    13 to 15 years:
    May be left unsupervised, but not overnight.

    16 to 17 years:
    May be left unsupervised (in some cases, for up to two consecutive overnight periods).

  47. Donna April 13, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    david – The police may have taken the children into custody at 5pm, but the children weren’t due home until 6pm. The children were not actually “missing” as far as the parents are concerned for the first hour that they were in police custody and the parents had no reason to panic or look for them. It is also fully reasonable that they didn’t panic the second that the children didn’t walk in the door at exactly 6pm. It does make sense to give the kids a few minutes to be running late before you freak out.

    As for your nighttime complaints, I don’t know where you live but this occurred in April in the northern hemisphere. It is still light at 5-6pm in Maryland in April. Street lights are not on yet at that time in my area. And the 6 year old was not alone a mile away. S/he had an older sibling along.

  48. Anna April 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    David: Another thing, regarding the “laziness” of not accompanying kids to the park. How much time do you think a kid should ideally spend playing outdoors? I would say on a Saturday or holiday, several hours – in fact, in nice weather, it seems to me the best thing would be for kids to spend almost all their free time playing outside. My siblings and I certainly did. On the other hand, how much time do you think even the most dedicated parent can spare to sit around at the park, supervising? Best case scenario, even with an at-home parent, odds are it’s not going to average more than a few minutes a day, if that. Parents have stuff to do, like working and taking care of the family. Kids have stuff to do too – like playing! Insisting that the latter activity only occur when the former doesn’t is a recipe for producing fat, sedentary, and screen-addicted kids.

  49. Kimberly April 13, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    Part of the problem here is the law. While CPS and the police have some leeway in how they work within the law and enforce the law, if we really want to stop this sort of thing then the law needs to be changed. According to a few articles I read regarding this latest incident, the law states that children under the age of 8 MUST be supervised by someone who is 13 years or older.

    Do I agree with that? No, not at all.

    However, instead of attacking the CPS and the police (which will accomplish very little in the long run), supporters of FRP need to start addressing the Maryland lawmakers and pushing to have the law changed. Because, whether any of us like it or not, these officials are currently protected by the law and they can continue on this current course for as long as they want to or feel that it is warranted. Accusing the officials of harassment (whether it’s true or not) won’t do the Meitiv’s any good if their children are taken away and placed in foster care because right now the law is on the side of CPS and the police.

  50. TRS April 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    forgot to add this sentence!

    “Fortunately, here in Fairfax County, social work and community professionals have developed guidelines to help parents decide when it might be safe to leave a child unsupervised.”

    CPS made the guidelines but yet they put you Rebekkah under investigation for following the guidelines. So – your story is making me hopping mad you have a reason to bring this to their attention!!! Matter of fact your daughter sounds very responsible and knew what to do for this puppy.

  51. LRH April 13, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    David

    I think YOU are missing the point, so I will make it for you.

    They aren’t your kids, or the state’s kids, so unless they’re dangling from a flagpole atop the Empire State Building or the parents are snorting more cocaine than seen in the movie “New Jack City,” how they are parented IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, or the government’s. Period.

    LRH

  52. Tiny Tim April 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    One of my big pet peeves is people who think ONE MILE is a big distance. It is not. It is a 22 minute slow walk, or a 17 minute brisk walk. On a bike you can do it in 5 minutes, easy. I had free run of my neighborhood when i was 8 years old. My school was about a mile away. I usually didn’t walk, but I could, and had to when there was a bus driver strike.

  53. TRS April 13, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    Kimberly – that is what I was basically trying to say. The Meitiv family can continue to do this but is the risk worth it? I personally don’t find what they did risky. However, with CPS breathing down my neck I would do what they said so I could keep my kids. Kids die and are abused in foster care. That would be a horribly frightening thing to place on my kids.

  54. Kimberly April 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

    These are the people we need to bombard with a letter writing campaign demanding a change to the current law.

    State of Maryland House and Senate elected officials:

    http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmmain.aspx?pid=legisrpage&tab=subject6

    Montgomery County Board of Elections website that includes some of the same people from the link above but also contains contact information for elected county officials:

    http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/Information/electedofficials.html#

  55. Anna April 13, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

    But Kimberly, actually the law in Maryland does NOT state that. It states that the child can’t be unsupervised locked in a home or vehicle. CPS admitted as much, but still pointed to that law as the age guideline they use for children in public, even though that’s not the actual content of the law.

  56. david April 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    Warren, I am a little concerned for you. It seems rational communication and dialogue is a problem for you. Either that or you have anger issues.

    Regardless, your veiled attempt to disparage my parents or childhood by implying that I was not trusted or my parents did not ‘set the standard’ for me is amusing.

    Let’s not quibble about the semantics related to night time having to be dark. In the United States, which I am in as is the Maryland family, the standard conventional time considered to be night is, yes.. 6pm. The factors of daylight savings, geography and seasonal changes can modify the time the sun sets, or the sun is completely gone, but night time is considered to begin at 6pm. The point being that night time (twilight, dusk, whatever you want to call it) is not a preferred time for kids to be out roaming a mile away.

    Yes, perhaps the kids were supposed to be home by 6pm and at 630 the parents were panicked. My point was made when 90mins have passed before the parents started looking for them. The 90 mins began when their kids were in police custody. That could have also been 90 mins the kids were in the custody of a pedophile, kidnapper, bully, killer, injured in a ditch, injured by the side of the road, unconscious from injuries at the park, etc. The point being, 90 mins had passed where the kids were no longer at the park and the parents began looking for them. 90 mins that the parents had ZERO CLUE as to where their kids were, what they were doing, who they were with, what had been done.

    Kids are not pets. You do not name them cute little pet names and send them into the world with the name Apple or CoCO. You do not put them out and let them wander home by themselves like you might your outdoor car or dog. You do not send them out by themselves to wander the streets by themselves when they are 6 or even 10, or 6 with a 10 year old.

  57. JKP April 13, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    This happened on a Sunday afternoon.

    What if it had been a Monday afternoon right after school lets out? Do the cops drive around and pick up kids walking home from school unsupervised?

    If these children can walk home afterschool without harassment, what makes walking home from a park on a Sunday afternoon any more dangerous than walking home from school?

  58. Neil M April 13, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    “Do not be a lazy parent.”

    Not to start a flame war with you, David–I don’t know you–but to my mind this statement sums up the unexamined privilege that in my view lies at the heart of so many of these controversies. There are parents blessed with the free time to walk/drive their children anywhere they need to go, to meet them at the bus stop, to ensure they are never alone for more than thirty seconds. Then there are parents who are single, or who work full-time, and these parents have to trust that their children can manage basic life tasks (walking a half-mile, opening a refrigerator, entertaining themselves for an hour) without parental supervision. When we call the police over unsupervised 10-year-olds in parks or residential streets in broad daylight, we’re essentially expressing sympathy for parents with privilege and disapproval of parents who lack it. By this standard, parents of privilege are industrious and parents of less privilege are lazy, which sounds to me like an updated version of the 1980s “welfare queen” fantasy peddled by politicians who lacked the will to actually, you know, figure out and address the root causes of poverty and disadvantage. Myself, I prefer not to be included in that noxious little club, but your mileage may vary.

  59. david April 13, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    LRH.. I would agree these children are not mine and I do not need to parent them, as I have my own. However, the world you and these parents live in is not solely their own. The acts and actions of these parents and the children are effected by and effect the people around them. We do not live in a little eutopian society that everyone gets to do what they want, regardless of consequences, regardless of whom it might effect.

    It’s simple, if the parents want to let the kids play out side, let them play. If the parents want the kids to have independence, there are lots of ways to do this without having the kids wander the streets to and fro.

    When the parents and their actions, or in action begin to effect the community, it effects others and therefore their rights are not special. There are laws in place that have determined, for the betterment of society and the community, that these kids need to be supervised by the parents. The parents need to do it. Otherwise the ‘state’ or police will get involved. That is the reality.

  60. Donna April 13, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Michelle – There is a difference between you, as adult, fighting for your rights and placing your children involuntarily on the front lines of that fight. Kids should not be used as unwitting pawns in our battles with authority. These children have already been traumatized by the police and CPS and run a real risk of being removed from their homes if this harassment continues. If the kids WANT to continue this fight, great. Have at it. But I believe that it should be explained to the children as best they understand and the children’s opinions as to what they are personally willing to risk to play in the park should be respected.

    For example, I am opposed to standardized testing and my daughter doesn’t really want to take it. I have done everything within my power to opt my daughter out, but ultimately the only way for her to not take the test is for her to refuse to take it herself each day in class. I have explained that to her and told her that I would support her if that is what she wanted to do, but I absolutely refuse to FORCE her to fight my fight against her will. If she would rather just take the test (which is her current decision), I will accept that choice and try to dismantle the testing system through other means.

  61. david April 13, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    Neil… being a parent is a privilege. Parenting correctly is a responsibility. I do not see parenting correctly (i.e., watching your children, teaching them responsibility or taking them to the park) as an outcome to having some sort of privileged life.

    I was a latchkey kid and my older brother and I were often left home or played outside while my single mother worked. Coming from that background gave me the distinct experience of being a ‘free range kid’ before it was apparently a trendy term that parents want to some how latch onto.

    My mother had strict rules that I had to follow. Go to school, come home, do your homework then you can play outside. Immediately outside. Have fun, play, be adventurous…. but come home when I call you, be home before the street lights, do not get into trouble. Man I had a blast. I had a lot of friends and played outside EVERY DAY.

    I am not advocating the kids do not go outside, that they do not get to play or that they somehow need to be leashed to the hip of the parents. But good parenting mandates the parents know where the kids are, they do not let them walk that far alone and can reasonable call them home.

  62. Beth April 13, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    “When we call the police over unsupervised 10-year-olds in parks or residential streets in broad daylight”…

    Why o why aren’t “we” calling the police over all the criminals that MUST be hanging around and making this area so unsafe?

  63. Michael April 13, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    What can we do in these circumstances to help the Meitivs?

  64. Yocheved April 13, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    Does anyone else suspect that the Meitiv family might be under 24 hour surveillance, with the cops just hoping for another “gotcha”? It must be an amazing place to live, if that’s the only “crime” that ever happens there, and they have the officers to spare on “walking alone” cases.

  65. Sandi April 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    @TRS,

    I have had the same thoughts cross my mind about just keeping them in to avoid trouble. I agree that it is a very bad idea to just cave to this sort of harassment, but it’s also important to be smart about how and when to take a stand. On the other hand, I would hate to tell my kids that they have to stay inside because the police might take them. Also not a good thing for them to be afraid of the police.

    It’s dangerous to second guess parents’ choices for their children’s well being. We aren’t there and don’t know everything about this family. We do know that CPS recently said that the parents were not negligent the last time they picked up the kids, so they really had no reason to believe they needed to change anything. You sound very hateful assuming that they are doing this because of pride. Perhaps they based their decision on sensible expectations.

  66. Kristen April 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    Here’s the Montgomery County Crime Report for 2014: http://www.mymcpnews.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/MCPCrimeReport2014.pdf

    From Page 3, note particularly the last sentence: “Despite the overall increase, the incidence of crime in Montgomery County is the second-lowest rate that the county has experienced in the last decade. The total number of offenses in 2014 was 24.5% lower than 2010, and 23.9% lower than in 2005. Furthermore, the crime rate per capita remains very low: 5,046 crimes for every 100,000 people. The fact is that Montgomery County is a very safe community.”

    The document also says to contact the District Commander with any questions or concerns. I believe Silver Spring falls into the 3rd District, Station Commander Captain Marcus Jones: 3DCommander@montgomerycountymd.gov

  67. Jil April 13, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    If something happens to your kids one day you will not be able to live with the guilt. My children were molested and they were never allowed to run around alone. I was away from them only while I worked. I truly hope you have a change of heart.

  68. Sandi April 13, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    @Yocheved

    I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if they are in a position to move. I would not be happy living in that area. Just too much drama.

  69. James Heartfield April 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    Dear Danielle,
    I see a lot of people losing perspective over what ought to be common sense. Children weren’t supposed to be kept under constant supervision. My two girls have walked to school from quite early. It is exhausting and demeaning to have to justify oneself to judgmental parents and authorities, and no good for the children.
    In solidarity with your fantastic stand
    James Heartfield

  70. Sandi April 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear that about your kids.

    I don’t want to sound unkind, but I assume that they were not molested while walking on the sidewalk with cops driving around noticing unsupervised children. It’s just really not the same thing.

  71. Sandi April 13, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    Sorry, I forgot to say that I was responding to Jil’s comment about her children being molested.

  72. Emily Morris April 13, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    There is no excuse for keeping kids that long while avoiding calling the family. No excuse. I don’t care if the parents were actually being abusive/negligent. You STILL inform the family ASAP. The cops and the CPS messed up big time here.

    And why on earth are so many people in favor of sticking kids into terrifying CPS/foster situations?

    Finally, if the neighborhood is that bad, why aren’t cops and the community doing something about it instead of wasting time following kids around?

  73. Nick April 13, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    can’t play the victim when you do nothing to enforce your kids time table.
    by coincidence the original article is now gone… which really paints a picture of lazy parenting. and lack of concern. but who am I to judge right so I will just quote that Missing article.
    ” the kids, ages 10 and 6, were supposed to come home at 6 from playing. At 6:30pm Danielle says her and her husband sasha were pretty worried. ” ok at this junction 30 minutes have gone by and you as the parent have done nothing yet to look for your children. if my kids were 30 minutes late correction at 10 and 6 my kids would not have the opportunity to be 30 minutes late, I would be at that playground at 6:10 no later, Inspecting my expectation and reinforcing my rules. But back to to my point.. the article also read ” By 8:00pm they were frantic. Only then did someone from CPS crisis center call the parents and say that the Police had picked the children up”

    Let do some math 6:00 til 8:00pm 120 minutes after they were supposed to be home and parents have DONE NOTHING YET TO FIND THEIR KIDS.. received the call at home. at 8:00pm per the article. How far away were the kids that the first 30 minutes didn’t make you go find your kids. 60 minutes have passed probably missed dinner time 90 minutes passed . 120 minutes passed and all other sorts and you still haven’t left the house to find your FREE RANGE KIDS…

    Im not going to go into the fact that she claimed to have already had a nightmare about this Nightmare by definition is a terrifying dream in which the dreamer experiences feelings of helplessness, extreme anxiety, sorrow, etc. So not only was your nightmare not enough,

    Final thought. Don’t call the news the second CPS calls you when you have chosen to not leave the comfort of your house 120 minutes after they were supposed to be home.” using words like pretty worried and Frantic when you comfortable in your house for 120 minutes while your 10 and 6 year old are out FREE RANGING…

    Now I know I am just one opinion and yours will probably not match or it may. I understand this is a site full of believers the Free range kids are an ideal way to raise children and its your right to feel in such a way. But This story does not support your intended beliefs. You just don’t sit home and wait 120 minutes after curfew free range believer or not. That’s horrid parenting. I provided facts not speculation not assumption. Based of readings posted on this site by “L” assuming L is an editor for this site. For those who have not seen the BREAKING NEWS post.. and only have seen this edited column. you haven’t seen the entire picture. I wonder if ” L” will repost the original update. at the bottom of this one..

  74. TRS April 13, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    Not hateful. Just irritated because I don’t want them to lose their kids. They will if they continue. That is sad but probably what will happen. It is because they are being prideful. She went on the Today Show to discuss this. Probably would feel humiliated if she backed down now. I would swallow my pride for the sake of my kids – even if it meant not following what I really wanted to do. They grow up fast and sooner than later you can let them run free w/o punishment.

    The law is on CPS side and I am afraid this is just a losing battle for them. I personally would not tell them to continue to fight the battle because I do care if they lose their kids.

  75. TRS April 13, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Very interesting Nick. If that is the case I am sadly shaking my head.

  76. Warren April 13, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    David,

    Had you earned the trust, you may have been able to venture further. And I don’t know who your parents are, but I am pretty sure they did not, do not and will not set the standard by which others must comply.

    And no, when it comes to “being out at night”, it is generally accepted that means after dark.

    Next, yes I did send my kids out at that age, all freaking three of them. At the time my 10 yr old daughter would take my 2 yr old daughter to the park, on their own. She would ask to do it. And because of things like that, even though they are 8 yrs apart, they are closer than ever.

    You can live in fear, I really don’t give a rat’s ass. I will fight you to the end, to prevent idiots like you from forcing the rest of us to live in your paranoia. You want to be a coward and scared, go for it. Just shut up about it.

  77. JKP April 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    TRS – What if it’s not about pride or making a point?

    If parents feel that their child NEEDS age appropriate independence in order to grow into a healthy, self-sufficient adult, then they are not doing this to make a point or feed their ego.

    This is about giving children what they NEED to grow into self-sufficient adults able to thrive in this world.

    Kowtowing to authority can then be seen as actually DEPRIVING your children of the experiences needed to mature.

    If you lived in a country where daughters were forbidden to read or be educated, would you just go along with the government so as not to make waves or put your children at risk? Or would you make sure you gave your child the skills they needed, regardless of whether the government said you could?

  78. Havva April 13, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    @Nick,
    Instead of assuming why don’t you look at available information, and not just assume the worst. For example the washignton post wapo.st/1aIaRIr reports:
    “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.”

    They were searching the whole time, just like you said they should have been. Just like any of our parents would have done if we didn’t turn up when expected. I hope you will rethink the way you instinctively assume the worst about people.

  79. Jil April 13, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    I should have stated that I believe that CPS, schools, etc. have overreached way to far into how we as parents decide to raise our kids. I truly am sorry for all you’ve been through and wish you luck in the future and pray your kids will remain safe.

  80. TRS April 13, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    I think that analogy stinks. Education is a right in this Country so that is a pointless argument. There are ways to let your kids get independence within the boundaries of the law. My 15 year olds are very independent and I have no doubt will have the navigation skills they will need. I was in sort of a similar situation that I posted about above. It was very disturbing so I just decided to use better judgement about when and where they got their freedom. I really think the main reason why these people are in trouble is because of the 6 year old and not the 10 year old.

  81. Jil April 13, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    Sandi, you are correct, it is not the same thing. However, if this can happen when kids are supervised, how safe can they possibly be unsupervised? My main point is that should those children get hurt, aside from the pain those kids will live with, she will not only have to live with the grief but also a hell of a lot of guilt. We live in a world where you cannot be too careful with the safety of your children.

  82. JKP April 13, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    TRS – It’s a perfect analogy. In fact, in this very country, there was a time where it was illegal to educate blacks. And yet some very brave parents took big risks so their kids could learn to read and write.

    Yes, education is a right in this country. But if you don’t defend your rights they are taken away.

    I don’t believe it is possible to raise capable adults without giving them age-appropriate independence. I’ve met many of the “adults” of these parents who insist that their kids is so mature in spite of being helicoptered. And they are just deluding themselves.

  83. bob April 13, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    It seems to me that isolating kids from the real world and making all decisions for them prevents them from learning decision making skills. These future adults will have a much harder time facing the world when its thrust upon them. Won’t these be the same people trying to make important decisions about their parents if their parents become infirm?

  84. Kimberly April 13, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    @ Anna

    You are correct. However the full law reads:

    §5–801.

    (a) A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.

    (b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.

    ***

    My guess is that if the older child was at least 13 years old, the Meitiv’s wouldn’t be having the problems that they’re currently having.

  85. mrblifil April 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Why was the county not sued the first time this happened. Are there plans to file suit now? There may be county guidelines for when kids should be attended, but they are just that: “guidelines.” Imprisoning children, even for a few hours, is an unconscionable act. The fact that hours went by without anyone contacting the family also suggests the disturbing possibility of willful lack of communication. Bring the whole thing into court.

  86. Andrew Jones April 13, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Jil – I sympathize with what happened to your children – but your statement at the end already defines your viewpoint : ” We live in a world where you cannot be too careful with the safety of your children.”

    We live in a world where it is safer than *ever* to be a child – as evidenced over and over various studies.

    What we live in is a world where a) people hear about every little bad thing that happens everywhere in the world and build up a false sense of how dangerous it is.

    You said your children were molested while supervised – did the person doing the supervising molest them, were the children in a controlled environment with the molester? Logically, then, they would have been *safer* out playing in the park alone – where they could run away, where there could be other witnesses.

    See how the paranoia makes things worse? “It’s too dangerous to let my kids play in the park while I do this – let me call my friend/relative to babysit them” –> and most child molestations are by friends and relatives. So, because we are paranoid, we blindly assume “well, *my* family/friends won’t do, it, so it *must* be safer than playing in the park….

    Except it’s *NOT*

    One group of terrorists seizes control of some planes and crashes them. Airlines around the world basically make their cockpits into safe-rooms. Mentally ill copilot locks out pilot with intent to crash the plane, and lo and behold, pilot can’t get back in to stop him…..because we *overreacted* to a one-time affair.

    Risk assessment doesn’t eliminate risk – but it lets us see if our response makes sense.

  87. Tim April 13, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    I wonder if the same police officer who threatened that “shots would be fired” the first time the kids were brought home was involved this time. I have a hard time believing that an officer who would escalate an unattended child situation with threats to start shooting has anybody’s safety or interests in mind. Hopefully, she is not representative of the department as a whole.

  88. david April 13, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    Warren, buddy.. you have got some major anger issues. I am hoping you and I do not live in the same City or State because you are completely emotional and irrational. The frightening aspect of this is you actually had 3 kids and apparently allowed them to be ‘free range’ as well. Although in most cases I do not suspect the parents are being lazy, I think you were probably being lazy and hoping for some free time from your kids to yell and scream at your tv over some sporting event. Your awfully angry and probably white-knuckling your keyboard and mouse as you type.

    Take a deep breath and pay attention. If I had seen your 10 year old, walking down the street with her two year old sister, a mile from home and by themselves, I would gladly call the police to have them check their welfare. You live in a little coccoon of denial if you think having your 10 year old watch your 2 year old was smart. It is a shear miracle nothing happened to any of your kids and frankly, I am glad for that. I do not wish any ills upon these children, or any kids.

    The reality is simple, a lot of you people are living in denial and have no real concept of the evils that lurk in neighborhoods. There are FAR TOO many people out there who are willing and able to conduct the most horrendous acts upon themselves, each other and especially children.

    Maybe you should take a closer look at this:
    http://www.missingkids.com/KeyFacts
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ncic/ncic-missing-person-and-unidentified-person-statistics-for-2014
    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/196467.pdf

    There is a fine line between trying to stand your ground on an issue you feel strongly about…. and jeopardizing your child’s safety.

  89. Donald April 13, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    ” We live in a world where you cannot be too careful with the safety of your children.”

    The world has certainly changed. In some ways it’s safer. In some ways it’s more dangerous. However, much of that danger breeds from xenophobia. The above statement is a huge cause of the hysteria.

  90. Warren April 13, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

    David,

    We need to clear something up right away. I am very picky about who I call friend/buddy. You were neither invited nor wanted. David, you do not even come close to making the cut.

    And please do not mistake disgust and contempt for anger. I have no anger towards you. I find you rather repulsive, but that does not trigger anger.

    Let’s take a look at what you call a shear miracle. Of the hundreds of times, if not thousand of times total my kids enjoyed my trust and their freedom, we had not one incident. Nothing, no attempted abductions, no vehicle impacts, no nothing.
    Now had every other child been killed, and mine survived, that would be a MIRACLE. But doing the same thing, hundreds or thousands of times, and producing the same results everytime is not a miracle. It is evidence, some may even say imperical evidence.

    Sir, you can live in fear, you can be afraid, you can wrap your kids in bubble wrap, you can move to the city of their college, you can hold their hand until they are apply for pensions…………….I don’t care. What I do passionately care about is my kids, and I will be damned if I let cowards and mentally ill, and paranoia is a mental illness, people tell my kids how they have to raise their kids, my grandkids. And that is what you self righteous helicopter parents do. Is you scream for laws and regulations that hinder and hamper other parents, because you think you know better. When really you do not know better, you are just scared small people.

  91. Donald April 13, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

    @ david

    We both agree on your statement.

    “The reality is simple, a lot of you people are living in denial and have no real concept of the evils that lurk….”

    What we disagree on is what that evil is. I think the evil is the hysteria similar to McCarthyism and the xenophobia of the Salem which hunts.

    You’re right. A lot of people are living in denial.

  92. Warren April 13, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    Donald,
    No kidding. Look at the number of recalls of child products that haven’t ever caused an injury. But oh they just might. Same train of thought/insanity.

  93. Donna April 13, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

    JKP – Yes, children need age-appropriate freedom. And there are as many different versions of “age-appropriate” as there are parents on this blog. All of us have different visions of what free range is and there is no magical age at which a child HAS to do something or it is a forever lost skill. A child is not condemned to an inability to ever be self-sufficient if they have to wait until age 8 to go to the park without a parent instead of doing it at 6, and age 8 appears to be fine with CPS per their own comments. In fact, I personally think 6 is too young to be in a park a mile away from home alone (although potentially fine with an older sibling as here depending on the situation and I will defer to the parents who know these particular children that it was fine here). I did wait until my daughter was 8 because I felt that a more appropriate age. Others may disagree and let their children go at 6. I don’t think either of our children are damaged from our decisions.

    I think the choice of 8 or 6 years old is random and not something the state should be setting, but what necessary skills is a child gaining at 6 that they couldn’t learn at 8 that is worth the high potential of going into foster care present in this situation now? None. This is all about the parents and their rights and not about the children’s rights. Maybe a noble cause worth fighting, but again, I don’t believe in using children as unwitting pawns in my battles.

  94. david April 13, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Warren.. chief.. pal..fella.. guy..dude…

    Yeah, it’s safe to say we will not be friends. Thankfully. You have a lot of problems. I feel sorry for you. I think you mean well but you seem like a guy who runs around pulling his hair out and screaming like a baby when he does not get his way. I’d hate to see how you handle real adversity as opposed to someone who just thinks differently than you on a barely known web blog.

    Seriously, bro.. chum.. mate.. partner…
    I notice you did not take any time to comment on the any of the three links I posted. Rather you went straight to name calling, belittling and acting like a spoiled brat. I am guessing you hate taxes, do not vaccinate your kids, hate seat belt laws and shake your fist at ‘the man’ because they dare to tell you you should wear a bike helmet. You probably spend a lot of time yelling and screaming about the evils of government and interjecting their nefarious laws into your life.

    Take a minute and look at the sites I listed. Sadly there are thousands of families who wish they had been lucky enough to not have a loved one abduction, murdered or sexually assaulted. It’s not an issue of living in fear, being a coward or raising kids in a bubble.

    You are so narrow-minded and hell bent on spewing out nastiness that you have missed major points in each of my posts.

    These kids should be allowed, encouraged and supported in their independence. Allowing the kids to play outside, spend time together and with other friends is all healthy and should be nurtured. However, it is irresponsible of these parents and you and your apparently adult children to be unaware of where your kids are. I am not advocating you GPS track your children, or prevent them from exploring or being adventurous. I am advocating these parents know where their kids are. If you kids are grown and they have kids (your grandchildren), then you and your kids are doubly irresponsible if you allow the grand kids to roam free for hours without knowing where they are. Yes, I think that makes you irresponsible. A 2 year old playing outside with their 10 year old sibling is fine. A 2 year old walking with a 10 year old to the park a mile or even half mile away is irresponsible.

  95. Paul April 13, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    I find it humorous that David implies that others are running around, pulling their hair out while he lets his wildly over active imagination dominate his thinking. It is pitiful to allow yourself to be governed by far and imagined threats, and yet that is how David chooses to govern his life. Sadly, his is the mentality that seeks to govern other lives as well.

  96. pentamom April 13, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    David, conventionally, 6 pm is considered the beginning of evening, this is true.

    But beyond that, you’re not making any sense. There is no more danger in a kid being out at 6 pm in April in Maryland, than at 3 pm. The fact that we have a cultural convention of calling it “evening” does not in any way make it less appropriate for a kid to be out at that time. It’s not dark, it’s not low light, it’s not even beginning to be low light.

    Look out your window tonight at 6. If you live in the contiguous U.S., you should be able to observe that it will be broad daylight. If you look out again at 7, you will notice that it is still completely light out. There is absolutely no reason it’s inappropriate for children to be out at 6 in April, anywhere it’s appropriate for them to be out at 3.

  97. L. Joe April 13, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications

    April 12, 2015, Silver Spring, MD. SUNSET: 7:42 PM, EDT END CIVIL TWILIGHT: 8:10 PM, EDT

    http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/RST_defs.php

    Sunrise and sunset conventionally refer to the times when the upper edge of the disk of the Sun is on the horizon. Atmospheric conditions are assumed to be average, and the location is in a level region on the Earth’s surface.

    Civil twilight is defined to begin in the morning, and to end in the evening when the CENTER of the Sun is geometrically 6 degrees below the horizon. This is the limit at which twilight illumination is sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished; at the beginning of morning civil twilight, or end of evening civil twilight, the horizon is clearly defined and the brightest stars are visible under good atmospheric conditions in the absence of moonlight or other illumination. In the morning before the beginning of civil twilight and in the evening after the end of civil twilight, artificial illumination is normally required to carry on ordinary outdoor activities.

    OK, so at 7:42 PM, it still would have been light enough to see quite easily; AFTER 8:10 PM it would have been “dark.” The children were expected home around 6:00 PM. This refutes the argument that the parents were allowing them to “roam around at night.” Respectfully, David, some of your assertions do not hold water. Also, these Parents know their Children better than you, I, a dime-dropping stranger, the Police, or a CPS bureaucrat, and absent clear and unequivocal neglect, should be allowed to Parent as they see fit – they seem to be well educated, well adjusted, level-headed adult citizens.

    @Jil, “We live in a world where you cannot be too careful with the safety of your children.” I have to agree with Andrew and respectfully disagree with you on this one, Jil, while acknowledging the terrible situation you and your children experienced – my heartfelt sympathies. However, this mindset in general is what contributes to helicopter parenting, overzealous bureaucrats determining what is “best” for everyone, inane zero-tolerance policies (or should that be zero-intelligence?), and perhaps an enfeebled citizenry unable to make meaningful personal decisions without first eliciting approval from an authority figure (ie. The State), IMHO. I dearly hope the 3rd point does not come to pass, but my, oh my, is this country starting to exhibit some disturbing signs reflecting the genesis of a Totalitarian State. Apologies if this is seen as hyperbole by some. Food for thought – one boils a frog by starting the burner on simmer.

    Another point. The Today Show, 04-13-2015 video states at 0:23 of 1:39 that a “stranger saw their kids….. unaccompanied in a park over the weekend and called the cops…” Were the children being attacked, bullied, assaulted, chased, accosted by a creepy person, etc.? Apparently not. However, some stranger decided to insert themselves into the Meitivs business and “call the cops.” Perhaps payback time for the Police and CPS? You think the authorities didn’t know almost immediately who the children were? It sure looks like unlawful detainment when they are held for hours until the parents are finally informed, and hours more until they are back in the parents custody, no doubt after some intimidation and arm-twisting by the State. Chilling indeed, as it was no doubt meant to be. BTW, the Police Officer in the earlier incident who insisted on UNLAWFULLY entering their home, and making threatening comments about shots being fired if Mr. Meitiv returned with anything other than ID (Driver’s Lic) should have been placed on administrative leave and strongly disciplined, at the very least. Had the roles been reversed, you can bet the homeowner would have been arrested on the spot and facing serious charges. Police are subject to Civil Law and should be held accountable like every other Citizen they are sworn to serve! Just My Humble Opinion.

    Stay Strong, Meitivs!

  98. JustMe April 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    Please do not feed the trolls (aka david).
    Don’t justify his fear mongering with a reply and he will go away.

  99. Warren April 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    David,

    So you are saying that because the police over-stepped their authority and abducted two children off of the street, that the parents should have forseen this, and known that the police had done this, thus knowing where there kids were? Can you forsee someone like me calling the police and telling them you were seen buying a dime bag on the corner, and the resulting arrest? If you can, wow, the CIA would love to have you and that skill at their disposal.

    Now as far as the rest of your tangents.
    Vaccines? Only those recomended by our family doc.
    Seatbelts? Only on those vehicles that seatbelts were original equipment.
    Bike helmets? Personal safety gear is just that, and should be a personal choice. I do not wear one.
    Taxes? Never had a problem with them. They cover a great many services that I and my family enjoy. Most notably our healthcare. It is so nice to know that I can walk into the ER, swipe my healthcard, get treated, walk out and not have to worry about a bill down the road. I am quite proud to support our education system. My eldest is now reaping the benefits as a teacher.

    As for your links, they will all say the same. The vast majority of crimes commited against children are by family, or those known and trusted by family. And yes 115 stranger abductions is still too many. But, and it is a big but………..115 out of all the population under 18 is not a factor worth worrying about.

    Not once did I ever worry about my kids being taken. Not once did I ever worry about them being molested. Not once did I check the SOR. What I did do is take the time to give my kids the tools they needed to handle life. Gave them the trust, guidance and support they needed. And they knew I was always there for more advice.

    You go ahead and raise kids. I won’t. Mine were born kids, already. I raised capable adults.

  100. DirtyHooker April 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    Age restrictions for allowing kids to do things like go to the park are meaningless. Some kids are fine at the park alone at 6. Some are not. All kids are different, which is why parents should be the one making these decisions.

    On another note: I don’t understand how letting your kid play unattended is “lazy” parenting. When did self-righteous twats become the arbiters of good parenting? I don’t accept this arbitrary definition of “good parenting” that seems to have sprung up over the past 15 years or so.

  101. Donald April 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    @david

    I can see that you wish to show us that helicopter parents are level headed and don’t have wild imaginations. You’re just not doing a very good job.

  102. Warren April 13, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    Dirty,

    It is the same as parents that do everything for their kids. They think because we let them handle stuff, we are lazy. They do not see the time and effort that goes into helping and teaching them how to handle things.

    They basically do it to justify their lives, and make themselve feel superior.

  103. LRH April 13, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    David,

    The point Warren is making, and I agree, is this–you parent your kids your way, everyone else will parent theirs their way. Simple as that. Unless you witness REAL “abuse/neglect” like caddle prodding or a 3 month old on the ledge of the Empire State Building, you mind your own business. To the extent that the laws empower you and others to butt in, those laws are wrong and need to be changed.

    I’m not obligated to ask you, Warren, the local police or the plumber of my toilet about my parenting decisions. Neither does Warren need to ask and neither do you. Parental authority should be respected, whether you’re free range or helicopter or whatever school of thought. Share your opinions, offer them, sure, but that’s it. No interfering, no butting in.

    LRH

  104. Sara A. April 13, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

    That’s our local park. That’s where my husband or I take our daughter at least 3 days a week to play. My husband and daughter were there on Saturday playing from 4-6. It was the first nice day after 3 or more rainy ones. My husband said it was MOBBED with children of all ages. It’s always mobbed in the afternoon and I’d be hard-pressed to match children to parents. I know all the moms of pre-schoolers and all the pre-schoolers, I can’t keep the school-aged kids straight. I’m LIVID!

  105. Beth April 13, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    “I think the main issue is that Silver Spring is pretty close to the city and that causes alarm…”

    They were at a park, a public park that I imagine was built with kids in mind, 1 mile from their home. They weren’t in “the city”. They have been given age-appropriate responsibilities for their entire lives, building up as they gained maturity and demonstrated their ability to follow directions. A 5th grader having had that kind of upbringing can certainly walk to and play at a neighborhood park. They weren’t being dropped in the middle of DC and told “see ya”.

    No one has any reason for alarm.

  106. Neil Murray April 13, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    I grew up in a time when kids were free. I remember one time that my brother and I took off all day on our cousin’s 100 acre NH farm, where we lived. We got back at night, and our aunt, who was visiting, said they were worried about us and almost called the police to come find us. We were surprised and replied, that we knew that 100 acres better than anyone, and were having fun all day, until we were so tired we decided to go back to the house. Watching the Red Sox game the other night, I recalled to one of the guys I was with that the last time I went to a game I was about 9 or 10, and my brother and I took the bus and subway to Fenway Park alone, and did it all the time, without informing our grandparents, who we lived with at the time, even where we were going. It was a great life. I feel sorry for the young today.

  107. ThreeStone April 13, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    I am interested in contributing to a fund to help with the Meitiv family legal defense. Will someone please tell me how to do this.

  108. Kimberly April 13, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

    @ David:

    From http://www.missingkids.com/KeyFacts: “In 2014, there were 466,949 entries for missing children under the age of 18 into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, also called NCIC.”

    –> Your 1st two links use the exact same statistic and source — the FBI’s NCIC database. Of the 466, 949 entries entered into the NCIC :
    1) 92,176 were for individuals age 21 or older
    2) 269 were for individuals of any age that went missing after a catastrophe
    3) 31,501 were for individuals of any age who were physically or mentally disability which could subject them to danger
    4) 17,631 were for individuals of any age who are considered involuntarily missing, i.e. through abduction or kidnapping
    5) 44,029 were for individuals of any age in which the circumstances suggest they may be in danger
    6) 449,549 were for individuals of any age in which they didn’t fit into any of the above categories

    In half of the above cases, individual agencies utilized the Missing Person Circumstances field on the form. Of those agencies that utilized the MPC field:

    1) 301,851 (96.0 %) were coded as Runaway
    2) 2,249 (.7 %) as Abducted by Non-custodial Parent
    3) 332 (.1 %) as Abducted by Stranger
    4) 10,091 (3.2 %) as Adult

    From https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/196467.pdf was put out by the Department of Justice in 2002 and spanning the years 1997-1999. It’s used to offer national estimates of missing children based on surveys of
    households, juvenile residential facilities, and law enforcement agencies.

    –>”…the majority of non-family abduction victims (53 percent) are abducted by persons known to the child”. Of that 53%:
    1) 38 percent of nonfamily abducted children were abducted by friend or long-term acquaintance
    2) 5 percent by a neighbor
    3) 6 percent by persons of authority
    4) 4 percent by a caretaker or babysitter

    And, according to the same document: “The NISMART–2 findings reinforce the…conclusion that teenage girls [ages 15-17] are the most frequent targets of nonfamily abductions and stereotypical kidnappings.”

    Additionally, of the above study’s reported 58,200 non-family abductions, 115 were what are considered “stereotypical” kidnappings. In other words…approximately .00002% of the estimated 70,172,700 children nationwide were the victim of a stereotypical kidnapping between 1997 and 1999.

    David, the problem with blindly copying and pasting links without actually reading what is in the links is that eventually someone like me (who loves doing research) will come along and actually go through the information to see if there is any validity to your point.

  109. JustaMom April 13, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

    I can’t get on board with this. 10 years old is too young to supervise a 6 year old, and 6 years old is too young to be alone. So if they want to do free range, do it responsibly. They either need to let the 10 year old go with a same age friend, or they need to watch their 6 year old and accompany them.

    The parents aren’t even giving their children means to handle an emergency if one arises. If they are going to let their children run free range, why don’t they have a cell phone to be used for emergencies? Even adults should have a phone on them if they are out jogging, walking, or on their own.

    What if one of them did something as silly as break their ankle from landing wrong? It can happen, my cousin broke her foot by stepping off the back of the shopping cart she was riding. How would they contact their parents if they couldn’t walk home? Rely on strangers to borrow a cell phone?

    Moreover, they were warned by CPS not to do this again. They’re putting their children’s welfare at risk to continue doing this. For what?

    Refusing to take a few hours out of your day to accompany your children to a park is not worth having them traumatized or taken away like this. They need to put their children first, their pride second. You can do housework with the kids home, it’s called chores. If your children are old enough to go to the park alone, they’re old enough to help cook dinner and do chores in the evening when you all get home. Not that hard. You don’t have to be right on top of them while they’re there. You can sit under a tree and play on your phone, read a book. Just so you are there in case of an emergency.

  110. MOBK April 14, 2015 at 1:14 am #

    “What if one of them did something as silly as break their ankle from landing wrong?” asks JustaMom

    Why do you even have to ask. Obviously a nice helpful parent such as you or me would call their parents. The parents would be there in a few minutes and the kids would be driven home or to the hospital as circumstances dictate. The prevalence of cell phones make it easier than ever to lend a hand to a lost or distressed kid.

    When I was 8 I took a nasty crash on my brand new bike. A stranger stopped, threw my bike in the trunk of his car, me in the front seat and had me home in a flash. My parents gave the kind stranger sincere thanks, but I am pretty sure they didn’t beat themselves up that they “should have been there” to protect me.

    “Rely on strangers to borrow a cell phone?”

    Occasionally relying on the kindness of strangers is not a bad thing at all. For me it inspires feelings of gratitude and faith in my fellow humans

  111. MOBK April 14, 2015 at 1:33 am #

    shorter david:

    “I know what good parenting is. It’s exactly what I do.”
    “If you make different decisions – you are probably a bad parent. And lazy to boot.”
    “I am a bit weak on statistics so I live in an artificial bubble of fear where random kidnappings are an everyday occurence.”
    “if you don’t parent like me it is a “shear” miracle if your kids survive to adulthood”
    “outside at 5 PM = roaming around at night”

  112. Kim April 14, 2015 at 1:37 am #

    I like and have always supported Free Range Kids. That Ms Skenazy allowed her 9 year old to ride the subway alone never phased me. My opinion, however, has changed given the snarkiness of the comments made against Marion. If this is a “movement” of “reason” then all reasonable opinions should be allowed and considered in this forum. Frankly I’m concerned that no one in this forum has addressed the real possibility that the Meitivs are using their kids to make a point. What “reasonable” parent would flagrantly ignore the authorities and be surprised that their children were taken into custody when they knew they were being monitored by CPS? This whole situation could’ve been avoided had the Meitivs followed the instructions of the authorities. The ballot box is where you make policy changes – not using your kids to make an example.

  113. Havva April 14, 2015 at 2:37 am #

    @JustaMom,

    “10 years old is too young to supervise a 6 year old”
    When I was 6 my neighbors sent their 5 year old across the street (alone) to come fetch me so we could spend an hour or so rollerskating together. Neither of us were supervising the other. When my mom was 5 she was the 2nd farthest home from the school and walked her block with just one other kindergartener who then continued on around the corner alone. There is nothing about this age that is incapable of walking from point A to point B in reasonable safety.

    “The parents aren’t even giving their children means to handle an emergency if one arises.”
    Nonsense. The kids know their way around, they undoubtedly know how to discern adults from children, and how to clearly articulate what their problem is. How to tell which houses are occupied and which aren’t. If a business is open or closed. The know their home address and parent’s phone number. And they probably know more than that. They have tools to handle an emergency.

    “If they are going to let their children run free range, why don’t they have a cell phone to be used for emergencies?”
    I didn’t get a cell phone until I was an adult and my uncle sold the things. If it is “for emergencies” It is just another thing to loose or break that has little chance of getting used, and is easy enough to work around in the event of an emergency.

    “Even adults should have a phone on them if they are out jogging, walking, or on their own.”
    Cary one if you want, but leave me out of such paranoia. They can be nice and handy. I love to have one when I’m going unfamiliar places. But I jog my neighborhood without one, I don’t need extra crap just because I’m going to be out of my husband’s sight for a bit.

    “What if one of them did something as silly as break their ankle from landing wrong? …How would they contact their parents if they couldn’t walk home? Rely on strangers to borrow a cell phone?”

    The chances of them both simultaneously breaking their ankles is astronomically small. The uninjured kid fetches help, or helps the injured one home. Same as my friends and I did in any number of accidents. And yes they ask someone to let them call home if needed. That is the point of memorizing the parent’s phone number. In the last 5 years I have let two kids borrow my cell phone because their parents were very late picking them up from school. My parents refuse to get cell phones and yet have no trouble borrowing one when needed.

    “Moreover, they were warned by CPS not to do this again. They’re putting their children’s welfare at risk to continue doing this. For what?”
    The previous case was closed. Kept on file but closed. Yes CPS expressed extreme displeasure but CPS couldn’t actually make a case of it. The time before that was closed entirely I believe. So yes the Meitivs were being bold and tempting fate. I don’t think I have the nerve to be as bold, because I agree with you that CPS is a danger to the welfare of children such as these. But the family also had reason to believe that with their legal resources they could keep the trouble down to the annoyance level. And they believe as I do that children have a right to grow up. Part of growing up is having growing amounts of independence and the chance at self reliance. They are doing this because they are defending their children’s rights. You can no more have an adult take the place of Devora (6) and Rafi Meitive (10) in this fight, than you could replace Rosa Parks with a white man. If our children are to have any rights at all, some time, somewhere, someone had to fight back. I worry about if Devora and Rafi understood the risks they were taking with the cops. But it is a worthy cause if the kids are on board.

    “Refusing to take a few hours out of your day to accompany your children to a park is not worth having them traumatized or taken away like this. … If your children are old enough to go to the park alone, they’re old enough to help cook dinner and do chores in the evening when you all get home.”

    This isn’t about refusing something to the children. It is about giving them freedom. Why must they be kept home doing chores? Especially when their physical need for exercise doesn’t line up with their parent’s need to get things done. My mom taught me to do chores, yes. But when I was old enough to go to the park alone an announcement that mom needed to do dishes was an open invite for me to go to the park. Mom let me go instead of drying dishes for the thousandth time. Because she understood that children have an enormous need for exercise and exploration. And at a certain point, not only don’t they have a deep need for supervision, they have a need to test their wings and leave the nest.

    “You don’t have to be right on top of them while they’re there. You can sit under a tree and play on your phone, read a book. Just so you are there in case of an emergency.”

    Being there “in case of an emergency” short circuits the child’s need to solve problems on their own and discover their inner strength. It wasn’t fun, when I catapulted from my bike and limped home with much of the right side of my body skinned and bleeding. But it was an amazing, wondrous experience. I learned that I could suppress panic, and that much of the pain was really from my fear. I learned what it was like to come through the initial shock and that one should sit and wait a bit after an injury before attempting to determine what can and can’t be done. Oh, my parents and teachers had tried to tell me these things many times. But it didn’t mean anything, until I discovered it on my own. This and other accidents, bestowed on me a firm faith that I can and will find a way through whatever life throws at me. My helicoptered friend doesn’t have that confidence and it hurts her in ways that I wish everyone who considers helicoptering harmless could see. The confidence to handle an emergency is critical. And playground level injuries are excellent for building that confidence with minimal risk. Why would I intentionally deprive my child of something so critical to living well?

  114. Tyler April 14, 2015 at 3:34 am #

    Obviously the parents have a right to allow their children whatever level of independence they think they can handle and the authorities are out of line describing this situation as treatment as neglect.

    I believe that the world is no safer or more dangerous for children than it was when I was a kid, but a lot of factors go into it. Where you live, how you prepare your children, etc. I do think these parents did nothing wrong, I do not think it is ok for parents to let their kid ride the subway alone in NYC.

    Also, I just have to say, this is not a movement. Free Range Kids? I think it is great for parents to have a resource where they can connect and discuss their parenting styles, but letting your kids play in their neighborhood is more of a tradition than a movement. It is the way its always been, and obviously the way it should always be.

  115. Donald April 14, 2015 at 4:56 am #

    @ Kimberly

    I love your post!

    However There is one thing I don’t understand. Please explain

    4) 10,091 (3.2 %) as Adult

    As an adult what? custody battle?

  116. sexhysteria April 14, 2015 at 5:17 am #

    The safety of a police car? That was probably one of the most terrifying places the kids had ever been forced to visit!

  117. Beth April 14, 2015 at 6:54 am #

    Ya know @justamom, people survived almost all of civilization without cell phones.

  118. BL April 14, 2015 at 6:59 am #

    @Beth
    “Ya know @justamom, people survived almost all of civilization without cell phones.”

    No, they didn’t. Everyone born before the 20th century is now dead. If they’d had cellphones, they’d still be alive!

  119. Beth April 14, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    @BL, oh my gosh, you’re right.

    >slinks out of room….<

  120. E April 14, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    @Kim — I think Donna made that same point earlier (I know there are a lot posts here). I think it’s possible to agree with what the Meitivs want to do in regard to their kids, and also consider that putting the kids between them and the authorities might actually created unnecessary stress on these 6 & 10 yo kids.

    I’m not familiar with what the plan/agreement was with CPS/legal issues following the first incident. If they were being fully compliant, that’s one thing. If they agreed to something they weren’t actually doing, then they were putting the kids between them and the authorities.

    Sounds like an awful situation. I hate that it’s come to this.

  121. Donna April 14, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    And I don’t necessarily think that the Meitivs were putting their children between themselves and the authorities in this situation. The former case was resolved and they had no reason to know that the police and CPS would do something like hold their kids for hours. I do think that NOW the fight needs to be between the adults and the authorities with the children removed from the fray. Their attorney mentioned filing suit in District Court and I think that it is great that they have someone readily and able to do that for them. I hope they win. But I don’t support continuing to send the kids out again to tempt the authorities to react until there is more clarity. These kids are just too young to have the experience and knowledge to really understand what is at risk here.

  122. Andrew April 14, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Since when? 10 year olds have always looked after younger siblings. I did when I was a kid, and many kids before me. I know what you’re going to say, “Things were different then.” Okay, lets look at today:
    Mexico, A prolonged drug war. Kids still go out and play by them selves. Eastern Europe, Kids still run errands miles away for their parents. The middle east, Kids still walk to school despite the threats of bombings and air strikes. They get on alright.They survive and grow to be adults with out a lot of the emotional baggage that American kids get from just walking down the street get. These kids learn to navigate the dangers in their societies,so why can’t American children learn to deal with the less critical dangers or our nation? I think the simple answer is this, In other nations they raise adults that will lead their nations,we raise children that will be dependent on ours.

  123. pentamom April 14, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Beth, BL is having you on. What (s)he said is untrue:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_people#Ten_verified_oldest_people_living

    Of course, maybe those people were very early adopters of cellphone technology…..

  124. Warren April 14, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    Donna,
    In one interview I do believe the mom said they won’t be letting them out until this is resolved.

  125. pentamom April 14, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    Donald, I think that “as adult” refers to a missing person who went missing “as adult.” IOW, not even within the scope of missing kids.

  126. Brian April 14, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    I don’t want to be an advocate for violence, but the ridiculousness of this farce makes my blood boil to the point where it certainly is tempting. The “neighbors” in this case are wholly contempible pieces of gutter trash, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out they were still hiding in anonymity behind their Gladys Kravitz brand drapes.

    This has gotten far beyond ridiculous. Has anyone set up a go fund me campaign or something similar to get these people donations to move out of this neofascist police state they live in?

    I understand that they want to stand their ground, but the police have already shown themselves here to be beligerant, unreasonable and at the ready to continually escalate this further at every step. At this point it has to be obvious that this situation has to either end by the Meitivs capitulating to the thug tactics employed against them, resort to violence in their own defense of just simply leave, unless they are prepared to give their children up permanently to these jackbooted criminals. I STRONGLY suggest the last option, since the first two can never bring these people anything resembling peace.

    I am new to this site, So I apologize if I am treading too far out with this comment, but CPS and the police there are far and beyond the pale with their immoral behavior. Is there any way to just get these people out of there?

  127. Donna April 14, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    Andrew – Was that “since when” to me?

    If so, I don’t have an objection to other 10 year olds supervising younger siblings out and about. I know a few who should not be in that position for various reasons so I wouldn’t say that it is always acceptable, but I trust most parents to know their children well enough to make that decision for themselves.

    I don’t think THESE children are old enough to completely comprehend the risk HERE. The risks here are very different than typical risks of the street that other kids face. There is a high risk – almost a 100% guarantee as long as the safety plan is in place – of these children being removed from the home and placed into foster care if the parents’ continue to allow them to go to the park. Do you really think that a 10 year old, let alone a 6 year old, has a good enough understanding of our legal system and foster care in order to make an informed decision as to whether a trip to the park is worth that risk? Is it even proper to ask them to make such a decision?

  128. Donna April 14, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    Warren, I assumed the willingness on the part of the Meitivs to sign the safety plan meant that they wouldn’t be sending them out. I was speaking more to the people here who say that they hope that the Meitivs continue to send their children out – basically turning their children into modern day Rosa Parks. I don’t believe that is a suitable rule for children this young. If they were older, sure, but not at these young ages.

  129. BL April 14, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    “Beth, BL is having you on. What (s)he said is untrue”

    OK, so a handful, out of billions, managed to survive. The odds are not good.

    (And I’m a “he”.)

  130. Michael Quigley April 14, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    We are being played like a $2 fiddle. It is the GOVERNMENT who is the criminal. In bed with the media, the government is conning America into racism and resistance against police. Eventually, this will lead to even more government intrusion into our lives. Enter: Police State and Martial Law. Think about it. The police are already armed for war. They are trained to subdue and suppress citizens. They have been trained to say things like, “I smell marijuana.” when there is none just so they can force body, home and vehicle searches. And Check Points! Really? Papers please. Welcome to the 1930s and Nazi America.

  131. BL April 14, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    @Donna
    ” I assumed the willingness on the part of the Meitivs to sign the safety plan meant that they wouldn’t be sending them out.”

    Do we know what this “safety plan” consists of?

  132. Rod April 14, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    I was a paper boy when I was 11 y/o and out alone in very early hours before daylight. I guess that is child neglect these days.

  133. Havva April 14, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    Donna,
    The Meitivs aren’t sending their kids out now.
    “The couple signed a temporary safety plan to get their children released and they plan to obey it. They’re not allowed to let the children out of their sight even to play in the yard or walk to the school bus.”

    http://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2015/04/free-range-mom-speaks-out-were-being-harassed/

    Of course it is beyond the children to make the decision at this point. And their parents are making the decision now. Poor kids have just lost a lot more than their trips to the park to CPS though. This can’t be a tenable decision long term. When I was Devora’s age I used to hide in the long grass in the back yard to deal with stress, stress like having a fight with my mom. My mom knew to leave me alone when I did that. I can’t imagine forcing kids that age to always have someone on top of them, even in their own yard.

  134. Jen (P.) April 14, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    “The couple signed a temporary safety plan to get their children released and they plan to obey it. They’re not allowed to let the children out of their sight even to play in the yard or walk to the school bus.”

    This is nothing but a trap. How do these CPS officials sleep at night?

  135. Andrew April 14, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    Sorry Donna, i was thinking about the comments that justamom posted. However I will comment on your post. I agree that the dangers here are different here than in other places. However,your statement “a 10 year old, let alone a 6 year old, has a good enough understanding of our legal system and foster care in order to make an informed decision as to whether a trip to the park is worth that risk?” can be compared to saying to a parent in the middle Gaza Strip “Do you think that a 10 year old let alone a six year old has a good enough understanding of politics and military science to make an informed decision as to whether going to school is worth the risk?” It’s a risk that parents make for the good of their kids. But unlike parents in war zones,Americans have the ability to change the situation. Petition the government,use the legal system, work to change the laws, and yes,relocate to an area more in line with their beliefs.
    And after two encounters with the police and cps, these kids are getting the experience they need to understand the dangers faced by going to the park and play Sad, but true.
    Oh, and by the way, our legal system is so convoluted that even lawyer and the police aren’t sure what the laws are. If they were sure,the kids wouldn’t have been taken in the first place.

  136. Jen (P.) April 14, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    “In one interview I do believe the mom said they won’t be letting them out until this is resolved.”

    Wasn’t it supposed to have been resolved after the last go round? Short of a license signed by the head of CPS and the governor authorizing these kids to walk to and from the park and to play by themselves, I don’t see how the Meitivs can let their children out until they’re 18. They are living in a police state (which I’m guessing Mr. Meitiv thought he had escaped). I’d love to see them fight this and win, but if I were in their shoes, I’d move.

  137. Donna April 14, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    Havva –

    I only become involved in cases with safety plans if the plan has been violated, so I don’t know much about them. I do know that they go away if CPS closes the file (that came up in a case). But I don’t know what happens if CPS leaves the file open for 5 years while doing nothing. I assume it stays in affect, but leaving files open for years doesn’t happen in my area. CPS either actively works a case or closes it.

    Lenore posted a comment from their attorney on Facebook that states that he is filing suit in District Court. I have no idea what that entails, but I assume the goal is to get a decision that puts an end to this matter once and for all. Of course, the legal system moves so swiftly that the kids may be in college before the issue is resolved.

    Without such a definite statement, I wouldn’t send the youngest out alone beyond the block even if CPS closes the file, thus ending the safety plan, until age 8. 6 is too young to be thrust into the roll of political activist.

  138. Kimberly April 14, 2015 at 11:48 am #

    @ Donald

    From how I was reading it, “As Adult” means that they went missing as an adult. While that number has nothing to do with missing children, the number of missing cases that David cut and pasted is comprised of ALL missing cases entered into the NCIC database (both adults and children).

  139. Donna April 14, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Andrew – There is a huge difference between doing what you have to do to eek out a life in a danger zone and using your children as a pawn in a battle of civil disobedience that they don’t fully understand the possible ramifications of.

  140. JustaMom April 14, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    -“When I was 6 my neighbors sent their 5 year old across the street (alone) to come fetch me so we could spend an hour or so rollerskating together. Neither of us were supervising the other. When my mom was 5 she was the 2nd farthest home from the school and walked her block with just one other kindergartener who then continued on around the corner alone. There is nothing about this age that is incapable of walking from point A to point B in reasonable safety.”-

    Yep, and back when my parents were babies their parents just threw them in the back of the station wagon with no baby seat. Let’s not pretend that just because kids survived the past means that it’s the best way to do something.

    On a clear day with no distractions and everything going predictably as it should, yes, small children can do anything by themselves. My baby can play in the other room by herself and be fine. It’s when unpredictable things happen, like a kitten in the road and the child darts out in front of a car to pet it. Small children simply don’t have the brain development to properly evaluate danger and not act impulsively. Even “advanced” children lack this basic ability by physical brain development alone. Child judgement simply isn’t good enough to be on their own at a small age, like 6.

    -“The parents aren’t even giving their children means to handle an emergency if one arises.”
    Nonsense. The kids know their way around, they undoubtedly know how to discern adults from children, and how to clearly articulate what their problem is. How to tell which houses are occupied and which aren’t. If a business is open or closed. The know their home address and parent’s phone number. And they probably know more than that. They have tools to handle an emergency.-

    The fact that their parents had no idea where they were and they had no way of contacting their parents contradicts this statement. An emergency arose, and they had no clue how to handle it. They simply got in the back of a police car on a policeman’s say so, because he was an authority figure and to a child all authority figures must be obeyed. They could have refused to get in the car and nothing would have happened to them. In fact, they didn’t even know what to do while CPS was holding them, they were probably scared and clueless. There are no reports of the children demanding the phone to speak with their parents. They just went along with what was happening. That’s not exactly calm and collected thinking needed for independence, and that’s exactly the point I’m trying to make. Something unpredictable happened, and they as children predictably didn’t have anything other than child reasoning skills.

    If it was a true emergency where someone was injured or hurt, I’m not confident their ability to problem solve would be any greater than it was then. They were given a test and failed, and not on any failure of them. They just simply didn’t process something the way an adult would and that’s why adults need to be either in easy contact or easy reach. These parents failed their children by providing neither.

    -The chances of them both simultaneously breaking their ankles is astronomically small. The uninjured kid fetches help, or helps the injured one home. Same as my friends and I did in any number of accidents. And yes they ask someone to let them call home if needed. That is the point of memorizing the parent’s phone number. In the last 5 years I have let two kids borrow my cell phone because their parents were very late picking them up from school. My parents refuse to get cell phones and yet have no trouble borrowing one when needed.-

    And in the mean time leave the other child stranded? Or make a child walk home on a broken ankle? No. At that age, parents NEED to be in easy reach. No exceptions. They either need to be their in person, or a click of a finger away. If the child is ready for independence they won’t use it, if they aren’t it’s a good safety net.

    -They are doing this because they are defending their children’s rights. You can no more have an adult take the place of Devora (6) and Rafi Meitive (10) in this fight, than you could replace Rosa Parks with a white man. If our children are to have any rights at all, some time, somewhere, someone had to fight back. I worry about if Devora and Rafi understood the risks they were taking with the cops. But it is a worthy cause if the kids are on board.-

    No, children do no have the ability to give informed consent. I could convince my child it was a good idea to jump off a bridge, any parent could. They are not old enough to understand risks and consequences, therefore “being on board” counts for naught from a child. They used their children as pawns in THEIR fight to parent as they want. This has nothing to do with kids having the freedom to go to the park. They CAN go to the park, their parents can be within the vicinity. This isn’t the children’s fight, it’s theirs. Children adapt, they’d be just as happy at the park with their parents as they would be without.

    -This isn’t about refusing something to the children. It is about giving them freedom. Why must they be kept home doing chores? Especially when their physical need for exercise doesn’t line up with their parent’s need to get things done. My mom taught me to do chores, yes. But when I was old enough to go to the park alone an announcement that mom needed to do dishes was an open invite for me to go to the park. Mom let me go instead of drying dishes for the thousandth time. Because she understood that children have an enormous need for exercise and exploration. And at a certain point, not only don’t they have a deep need for supervision, they have a need to test their wings and leave the nest.-

    I’m not sure how you do dishes, but if you do them every day, they only take 15 minutes to get done and I don’t have a dishwasher. It’s not hard to let the kids play all day and do dinner and chores in the evening. So being too busy to take your child out doesn’t hold any weight. If you’re too busy to take your child outside, time to rearrange your schedule and work on time management skills.

    -Being there “in case of an emergency” short circuits the child’s need to solve problems on their own and discover their inner strength. It wasn’t fun, when I catapulted from my bike and limped home with much of the right side of my body skinned and bleeding. But it was an amazing, wondrous experience. I learned that I could suppress panic, and that much of the pain was really from my fear. I learned what it was like to come through the initial shock and that one should sit and wait a bit after an injury before attempting to determine what can and can’t be done. Oh, my parents and teachers had tried to tell me these things many times. But it didn’t mean anything, until I discovered it on my own. This and other accidents, bestowed on me a firm faith that I can and will find a way through whatever life throws at me. My helicoptered friend doesn’t have that confidence and it hurts her in ways that I wish everyone who considers helicoptering harmless could see. The confidence to handle an emergency is critical. And playground level injuries are excellent for building that confidence with minimal risk. Why would I intentionally deprive my child of something so critical to living well?-

    I too wiped out on my bike as a child (multiple times), and I was glad to have my parents nearby to help bandage me up. I knew I could depend on them and grew up to be a dependable and independent adult because of the skills I learned from them first hand by their example.

    You can be nearby without being a helicopter parent. I supervise my toddler at the play ground and don’t step in when kids push her, because I want her to learn problem solving skills and to have the confidence to do that. When she falls, she gets right back up without needing to be coddled. I will say compared to other children her age, she is very independent and confident. But I will always be there during her primary years so she knows that if she needs me, I’m always there for her.

    There is a huge difference between being there for your child, and problem solving for your child. You can be there without hovering.

  141. JustaMom April 14, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    @Havva – Last post was replying to you. 🙂

  142. Stand with the Meitivs April 14, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    Please consider liking our page in support of the Meitivs. We are 100% against the CPS’s nanny nature and unconstitutional invasion into this good family’s lives.

    https://www.facebook.com/EndTheCPS

  143. Andrew April 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Donna – That’s not what the parents are doing. There is no law saying children cant be out by them selves. The parents broke no law,the kids broke no law. That is what this case and others are about. If there’s a law on the books that says no child under x age can’t leave his/her house with out a parent or guardian over the age of x, then there would be reason for police/cps involvement, But there wasn’t. These kids shouldn’t be forbidden from doing something their comfortable with just because someone else doesn’t like it. If people start caving in for things like that,then it only gets worse.

  144. Kate Kobylarz April 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    To whom this may concern:

    The issue is not ‘do the children have the right to be – free range – but rather “who” is watching those children while no familial adult is present?’ If you are talking about children playing in a park setting which is open to all there is typically no supervision on hand. If you are instead speaking of neighborhoods where children and adults know the residents intimately, that is, by sight, conversations, interactions at the local stores anchored by familial exchanges… then this is another matter.

    You say you were freaked out because of the time spent in ‘secure custodial settings’, I must ask just why you are not more freaked out by the innumerable possibilities of violence and harm your children could have experienced at the hands of unknown person or persons. Do you not see the difference?

    Free range?

    The matter really comes down to who is in the position of having to look after your children while you are not. This places an extreme burden on anyone who is in the vicinity of those children, whether they are yours or someone else’s. Now the responsibility that is by law rightfully yours, the parents, has shifted to anyone who is nearby to watch over – non-contractually [as opposed to with a nanny] – to safeguard the security of those children. Is this fair?

    Is this fair? This is where the police enter the picture. As community-based employees, they are performing the tasks set before them. In other words – doing their jobs. This is why they patrol your neighborhoods, watch after those who seem to be unattended. That they chose to take your children into ‘custody’ while as you claim not notifying you…that is for your courts to decide.

    And if “Maresi” or “Pophouse” any of the other permissives out there question my right to sit here and comment – how are you any better than the CPS? So, back off right now.

    Growing up in mixed neighborhoods, farm areas and suburbs I had plenty of opportunities to experience diversity of who was and was not friendly, knowing the stories behind the house that had 22 kids, the little girl whose skin was so fragile you could have read fine print through it, or the kids who came to school battered and bruised by aggressive parenting. As kids in the rural community, we would challenge each other to races and endurance tests ever hoping to enhance our physical abilities. In close-knit neighborhoods it was all about racing bikes and discovering who the neighbors were along with their stories and houses to stay away from.

    No where in the recounting of this original story did I read of the parents’ concern for who might have had their children – other than the police and CPS. This is hardly representative of a concerned parent and to me more worrisome than being in the care of the local authorities. Maybe the police should be more moderate in their monitoring of children. But ages 6 and 10 with brains not even half formed [research shows not until mid-20’s does the brain qualify as fully developed] I would say you are hedging your bets that your children would know what to do in true instances of stranger danger.

    This to me is shameful parenting. As a single who could not physically procreate I am amazed at what you claim passes as parenting. Maybe you are good parents within the confines of your four walls, but to the rest of the world you have some explaining to do. God forbid your children ever experience any actual danger. Any attempt to take this to court should be considered a frivolous law suit, whereas, any law suit coming from without has a right to be heard – society should not have to pay for your mistakes and frivolity. And yes, I would come to the aid of anyone I thought was in need – Good Samaritan-style – but unnecessary risks of free-range behaviors – that is another matter all together.

    I can tell you that my ‘children-antennae’ emerge especially in the absence of parents.

    In the end you all probably chose to live in those neighborhoods because of a ‘safety factor’ that you would have researched before plunking down 1.5M for your little 3500 sq ft 4-bdrm bungalow. Check your insurance policies and get back to me. You moved there because of a police presence and the security it provides. If you hackles are up you can only imagine what mine are like. Permissiveness be damned, when everyone else is having to do the job of the parents! Shame on you.

  145. Jen (P.) April 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

    @JustaMom – You said, “Child judgement simply isn’t good enough to be on their own at a small age, like 6.” At what age is it “good enough”? And more importantly, do you think the powers of law enforcement should be brought down on those who disagree with you and choose to act on their opinions? That’s what it sounds like.

    “An emergency arose, and they had no clue how to handle it.” – A completely manufactured emergency, if it’s even appropriate to call it that, which would not have happened if busybody neighbors and power hungry bureaucrats would mind their own business.

    “They simply got in the back of a police car on a policeman’s say so, because he was an authority figure and to a child all authority figures must be obeyed. They could have refused to get in the car and nothing would have happened to them.” – Ok, now I’m thinking you must be a troll. Are you serious???

    “There are no reports of the children demanding the phone to speak with their parents. They just went along with what was happening.” How on earth could you know this? The children very well may have been asking to talk to their parents – I’d be surprised if they weren’t.

    If you think your children aren’t ready for the autonomy that the Meitivs have afforded theirs, that’s your business. But it doesn’t give you the right to impose your standards on the rest of the world.

  146. Andrew April 14, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    To: Kate Kobylarz :
    I think most reasonable people would ignore kids playing by themselves. I know I would. Not because I don’t care, But because it’s none of my business. Interfering with children playing happily by themselves to me is the same as walking up to an adult reading a book in the park and asking him if someone knows where he is. If I see a child in intimate danger, I’ll step in and help. So will most people. It doesn’t matter if their adults or children. That’s what communities do. It’s not about raising other people’s kids, it’s helping others.

  147. JustaMom April 14, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    @Jen

    -You said, “Child judgement simply isn’t good enough to be on their own at a small age, like 6.” At what age is it “good enough”? And more importantly, do you think the powers of law enforcement should be brought down on those who disagree with you and choose to act on their opinions? That’s what it sounds like.-

    In my opinion, 12 is a good age to let them loose. Before then, they can play in the neighborhood culdesac with the other kids in view of the other houses and neighbors.

    -“An emergency arose, and they had no clue how to handle it.” – A completely manufactured emergency, if it’s even appropriate to call it that, which would not have happened if busybody neighbors and power hungry bureaucrats would mind their own business.-

    Yep, it was an emergency in controlled circumstances. What happens when it’s an emergency in uncontrolled ones? Their children show no indication that they are able to handle such a thing. If they can’t handled a manufactured one, they can’t handle a chaotic one which is far more unpredictable and possibly dangerous.

    If you can’t handle a fire drill, you can’t handle a fire.

    None of the emergencies you prepare for are the ones that happen. The most damaging things, are the ones you didn’t see coming. For instance, our window broke because a bird flew into it, and I had weather proofed it to withstand hail. Life throws curve balls. The important thing is that you have a level head and ability to think through those circumstances. Those children clearly demonstrated they did not.

    -“They simply got in the back of a police car on a policeman’s say so, because he was an authority figure and to a child all authority figures must be obeyed. They could have refused to get in the car and nothing would have happened to them.” – Ok, now I’m thinking you must be a troll. Are you serious???-

    I am. A police officer does not have power to detain unless he is reasonably suspicious. Alternatively they could have called their parents right there and had the problem solved. But again, they had no cell phone, and no knowledge of their rights.

    -“There are no reports of the children demanding the phone to speak with their parents. They just went along with what was happening.” How on earth could you know this? The children very well may have been asking to talk to their parents – I’d be surprised if they weren’t.-

    If they had, I think the family would be throwing a fit about how the authorities denied a small child a phone call to mommy. The press would eat them alive.

    -If you think your children aren’t ready for the autonomy that the Meitivs have afforded theirs, that’s your business. But it doesn’t give you the right to impose your standards on the rest of the world.-

    Just because I feel my child needs a seat belt to stay safe doesn’t mean I’m going to stay quiet when another parent doesn’t. I care about children, and as such I will happily report children who do not have parents with them in public areas. I’d rather report them and give a parent a headache than to do nothing and find out they’re on the missing persons list the next day.

  148. Paul April 14, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    ” I care about children, and as such I will happily report children who do not have parents with them in public areas. I’d rather report them and give a parent a headache than to do nothing and find out they’re on the missing persons list the next day.”

    You see, this is what separates you from other people. While others are willing to allow for differences in parenting methodologies, you are fully admitting that you are prepare to report parents who don’t fall in line with your preconceived notions of how people are to raise their children. I’m sorry, but it’s plain to see that you would be quite comfortable living in a fascist police state, as you’ve indicated your comfort level at calling the police and informing on others. This doesn’t make a concerned citizen; no, this makes you a tyrant.

  149. JustaMom April 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    “You see, this is what separates you from other people. While others are willing to allow for differences in parenting methodologies, you are fully admitting that you are prepare to report parents who don’t fall in line with your preconceived notions of how people are to raise their children. I’m sorry, but it’s plain to see that you would be quite comfortable living in a fascist police state, as you’ve indicated your comfort level at calling the police and informing on others. This doesn’t make a concerned citizen; no, this makes you a tyrant.”

    You have a lack of knowledge on how the law works. Just because I report something doesn’t mean I get to boss the police around and tell them to make someone’s life miserable. It means, I made a report and leave it up to the judgement of the police involved to use their best discretion.

    I have reported a fight outside my house, the police came by, talked to a few people and nothing more came of it. No arrests, no drama.

    The law isn’t mine to decide. If the officers decide it is harmless, then nothing will come of it.

    But again, I’d rather give a parent a headache than find out that the child was actually lost and is now missing. If my child wandered off I’d be happy that someone reported her so I could be reunited.

  150. Donna April 14, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    Andrew – That is exactly what they would be doing if they continued letting their children roam at this time – which they are not actually doing so I am speaking completely hypothetically. There is an excellent chance that those kids would end up in foster care if they continue to go to the park alone. Even if the Meitivs ultimately won the war, the children still would have suffered the trauma of being removed from their home and placed with strangers for some period of time. The decision to continue to do something you KNOW is almost certainly going to result in your children being removed from their home, regardless of what you feel about the legality of it, is all about you and not about them.

  151. Warren April 14, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    Justamom,
    You are comparing witnessing a fight, to seeing two kids playing in the park, and both warrant calling the cops?

    That says it all.
    Personally if the fight was right outside my house, chances are Im one of em. LOL. If I am not, I would have tried to break it up, and if I failed, then maybe called the cops. But not every fight needs the cops, either.

    And if you think two kids playing or walking by themselves needs emergency services, you a batshitcrazy.

  152. Warren April 14, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    Okay, all those people like Justamom wins. I am changing my ways, and taking it all the way.
    From now on…….

    Women walking alone or in pairs will be reported to the police to protect them against mugging and rapist and human traffickers. Better to be picked up by the police than some criminal.

    Elderly abuse is high these days, so I am calling the police everytime I see some elderly person in the company of someone younger.

    Dog theft. Anytime I see someone tie the dog up infront of the store or wherever, calling the cops.

    Do I need to go on, because that is what these people are advocating.

  153. Paul April 14, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    Justamom,

    You’re still playing the part of busybody informant. And as Warren says, for what? Two kids playing outside unsupervised? Get a grip.

  154. Paul April 14, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    “But again, I’d rather give a parent a headache than find out that the child was actually lost and is now missing”

    By the way, here’s another thought, justamom – why don’t you ask the kids if they are lost or in trouble instead of calling the cops? I know, I know, that takes effort and actual involvement on your part, and it doesn’t come with quite the same level of self-gratification of feeling that you have done your civic duty, but it’s what a neighbor would do.

  155. Deborah Morris April 14, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    I’m a pass Protective Services worker from Pennsylvania and contributed to many of the National and States Protective Services Laws!!!

    You are correct in the facts there are No Laws restricting Free Range activities of Your Children!!!

    If I can help in anyway please feel free to contact me or have your lawyer contact me.

    Deborah Morris

  156. Wow... April 14, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    @JustAMom:

    Nobody is questioning your right to comment. They’re telling you they disagree:

    See this comic for further details: https://xkcd.com/1357/

  157. Alexander Meitiv April 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    Here are the links for our legal defense funds:

    Direct PayPal link: (tax deductible)
    http://tinyurl.com/MeitivLegal

    Causes.com (signup needed, tax deductible):
    https://www.causes.com/posts/946050-unsubstantiated-child-neglect

    GoFundMe (not sure about tax deduction).
    http://www.gofundme.com/fightCPS/

  158. Nicole April 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    If the police are so convinced that terrible people are roaming the streets trying to kidnap children, I suggest that they try arresting the people they believe are predators instead of locking up the children. Seems to me that the time spent harassing this family would be better spent, oh, I don’t know, fighting crime. So either the police let a lot of real criminals wander around unchecked during the hours they kept these kids up past their bedtimes without any food, or the streets are a lot safer than they want people to believe.

  159. Buffy April 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

    ” I care about children, and as such I will happily report children who do not have parents with them in public areas. I’d rather report them and give a parent a headache than to do nothing and find out they’re on the missing persons list the next day.”

    Having your children removed from your home is a lot more than a headache, and I hope it never happens to you (yeah, I know, you’re a perfect parent).

    Just for kicks, tell us how many children in your city/town/village are on the “missing persons list”?

  160. andrew stromotich April 15, 2015 at 1:27 am #

    i’d say having a membership page is pretty neglegent, i would not sign up for any site that would attract predators, as this obviously would.
    i don’t know why you would want to do this? your kids will be old enough soon, but the creation of a membership blog because “as a parent” you want support for the notion that it’s ok to leave your children unsurpervised at what is generally recognized as being an unsuitable age, and in so you risk creating an online database of folks that also leave their children unattended for hours. You seem very self centered.
    Instead of looking for parental support on a blog, how about putting your concern for your kids well being at the forefront?

  161. Warren April 15, 2015 at 2:34 am #

    andrew,

    You do not even understand what we are trying to do, and at the same time do not understand the reality of today’s crime rates, and how safe today is.

    In other words you are really just ignorant of everything, and need to go learn things or just stay quiet.

  162. Kathie Reed April 15, 2015 at 6:15 am #

    I grew up in the neighborhood where this incident happened. My older brother was put in charge of seeing me safely from school to home each day, while Mom was at home with the baby. I always felt completely safe, and knew the rules about “strangers”. I understand the CPS and MC police having concerns about this, but feel they went way overboard with their actions. A parent knows their child and must give the child the independence to grow or else we will have a society of dependent, entitled young people in the next generation.

  163. Shannon April 15, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    If you really want “free range” children, it’s probably best to move to rural America. Where I live now (population 300) is virtually a utopia of kids playing in the park unsupervised.

    I think it’s time for the Maryland mom to stop trying to push an agenda that though laudable is probably doomed to failure. The kids were traumatized by the ordeal and I just don’t think it’s worth making a political point using your kids. Move to the country and enjoy the peace, the Libertarian-minded folks. Just my advice.

  164. LRH April 15, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    JustAMom doesn’t care about children, she cares about being RIGHT and everyone KNOWING that she’s RIGHT, and if they don’t cow tow to her edict, she’s pulling out the cattle prods–er, phone.

    The word “tyrant” comes to mind. So does the word that rhymes with “hitch.”

  165. JustaMom April 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    “You are comparing witnessing a fight, to seeing two kids playing in the park, and both warrant calling the cops?

    That says it all.
    Personally if the fight was right outside my house, chances are Im one of em. LOL. If I am not, I would have tried to break it up, and if I failed, then maybe called the cops. But not every fight needs the cops, either.

    And if you think two kids playing or walking by themselves needs emergency services, you a batshitcrazy.”

    If that’s your level of reading comprehension, I dread what you’re passing onto your children.

    No my literately challenged friend, the point was clearly that just because I call the cops doesn’t mean I get to tell them what to do. In the case of the fight, they used their discretion to simply talk, no drama. I shouldn’t have to spell these things out because you want to get riled and “offended”.

    But it was a cute strawman you set up for yourself there cupcake. 😉

  166. JustaMom April 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    “The word “tyrant” comes to mind. So does the word that rhymes with “hitch.””

    You do know you can type the word “bitch”.

    There was a 4 year old that hopped on a bus without her parents knowledge at 3am to get a slushie.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/27/girl-hops-bus-slushie_n_6959230.html

    Are you trying to imply that the bus driver should have just looked the other way to “respect parenting”? Because if he had, she could very well have been wandering for quite some time before ever being found, if ever. Sometimes when kids go to parks or are somewhere without an adult, it’s because they wandered off and their parents are frantically looking for them. It’s good to contact the authorities in these cases.

    Did you also know that cases of neglect are hardest to catch because people decide to “mind their own business”? For every well adjusted kid out there, there are also neglected kids out there wandering around. I leave it to the authorities to sort through it, as I am not arrogant enough to believe I am judge, jury and executioner.

    As I said, I will call the cops for an unattended child, and they will use their best discretion. Contrary to popular belief, the police don’t obey my every command. If it’s neglect it’s beneficial to the child to look into it. Child abuse happens because people like you refuse to “get involved”.

    This “stick it to the man” attitude is all well and good on a 17 year old rebel without a cause, but not for an adult who has social responsibilities to their community. You are expected to think outside your own little world as you are doing now.

  167. D pedersen April 15, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    We agree with the Meitivs 100% List a way to help you pay your legal fees. Would live to help!!!!
    DNP

  168. JKP April 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    Justamom – Have you considered that if you really care about children as much you claim you care about them, that by constantly calling about every unsupervised child and every case of parenting you disagree with “just to be safe” that you are in fact wasting the limited police and CPS resources such that actual real abused and neglected children will suffer and not get the help they need? While they are investigating your stupid, pointless self-righteous call, there could be a child somewhere else literally being beaten to death by their parents or being starved because CPS hasn’t been able to get back to checking on them. In fact, you could actually have the real death of real children on your hands because of your penchant for calling for no reason. Instead of worrying about whether you could have prevented that missing child you saw on the evening news, maybe you should worry if you could have prevented that child on the news who died in the care of their parents because the CPS workload was too large. “Maybe if I hadn’t called about that unsupervised child in the park, CPS would have been able to save that child in time.” Maybe those child deaths are actually YOUR fault and the fault of people like you.

    There’s a HUGE difference between a 4 year old child out at 3am, and two siblings – 10 & 6 – walking home from a park together at 5pm on a nice Sunday afternoon.

  169. stoptraffikorg April 16, 2015 at 2:56 am #

    I commend you for your efforts and hope that you win the case. I will pray for you and for your family. The government has no right to tell people how to parent their children when the government can not even balance a budget.

    They stole your children, did not notify you, and are patting themselves on the back for wasting our tax dollars doing so.

    The 911 call was a joke. They had a creepy man following your children and encouraged him to do so.

    If I were the parents I would be outraged.

  170. common sense April 16, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    to just a mom: you say you just call the police but don’t tell them what to do, so it’s not your fault. what the h*** did you think they would do? you would call the police knowinf full well how they and cps would respond[and if you don’t i suggest moving out from under that rock where you’re living] you bnot concerned about the kid, you want to not only be a hero but to feel vindicated that it’s your way or the highway. what a selffish vindictive additude. you’re not god or mary poppins, you’re just another mother with her views of right and wrong. what happens when one of your kid gets called on by yet another “concerned” parent? battling parent wars? you would be put throuogh hell by the authorities, just as you would put others. stop being the “only right “parenting”martyr. as someone else said get down off your cross, tear it apart build a bridge and get over it!

  171. Warren April 16, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    JustaMom,

    No perspective, no common sense and a massive amount of self-righteousness. That about sums up what you bring to the table.

    Two siblings walking home at 5pm on a Suday, properly dressed for the weather is not the same, sorry to confuse you, as a 4 yr old in pajamas on a city sidewald at 3 am, looking for a slushie. I am not even going to explain the differences to you, that is too far beneath any of us, except you.

    What it comes down to is we have JustaMom, a lady that fears the outside of her home, sits in the front window, armed with her phone. Because of her over inflated ego, and over estimated intelligence, she sits on her throne, watching her kingdom. When she sees something she does not like or agree with she calls the police. Does not have to be illegal, immoral or distasteful, just has to be against her values. JustaMom the self imposed authority of her community.

    I have dealt with people like this. They not only believe they are right and know better than you, they make your life a living hell until you concede to their will. And many do just to shut them up. In her own way JustaMom is the neighbourhood bully.

  172. Marcy April 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    This entire situation just baffles me. As a mom, I know my children and I know which situations they are ready for and which ones they are not ready for. When my son was younger, we let him go to our neighborhood playground with his friends. No adults were there to supervise and it was a few blocks away. The very idea that this is endangerment or neglect is absurd. If so, then my parents and ALL of my friends parents were guilty of neglect. Government agencies and police have far too much power and control these days. As a parent, the entire situation really enrages me. Those poor kids must have been so terrified being held by the police. Way to show kids that the police are there to help! I bet if these children ever TRULY need the police, they will be to afraid to ask for assistance.