Here’s a great comment on the post below this one, about the Meitiv case. They Meitivs were, of course, investigated for letting their 10 and 6 year old kids walk home together from the park in suburban Maryland:
I think we need to start lobbying state legislatures for reasonable laws that provide some clarity and security for families in these situations. As I understand it, this is the law the Meitivs were accused of violating:
“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.”
How does letting your kids walk home from the park even trigger an investigation under this statute? It is unacceptable that CPS has the authority to interpret the law so loosely in order to bring a family into the system.
One of the problems in these cases is that the process itself is the punishment — it’s a lose-lose situation for families unlucky enough to get caught in the trap. The Meitivs were coerced into participating in what I see as a completely unlawful invasion of their privacy under threat of having their children taken away. In other words, if you try to resist the illegal investigation, you run the very real risk of having your young children removed from your care while you fight…. Most people aren’t willing to take that risk.
It is for this very reason that we have drawn up the Free-Range Kids & Parents Bill of Rights, which basically states that children age 5 and up (and I’m willing to go lower) have the right to be outside, unsupervised, and their parents have the right to let them. Period. Take the bill to your town hall or mayor. Time to agitate. – L.