UPDATE: The children have finally been returned to the parents, at least four hours after the cops picked them up. Fox tdzfftszta
5 in DC

The Meitivs say CPS didn’t call them to let them know they had the kids until about 8 p.m. The Meitivs drove to CPS to pick up their kids, but say they were told to “take a seat” and initially weren’t given any information about their children, except that they were there.

Just after 10:30 p.m., the Meitivs were reunited with their kids. They had to sign a temporary safety plan to take them home. which means they are not allowed to leave the children unattended at all.

The Meitivs’ 10-year-old son told reporters they sat in the police car for about two hours before they were told they would be dropped off at home, but instead, they went to CPS in Rockville.

The story, posted at about 9 tonight, was this:


Danielle Meitiv, the “Maryland Mom” just called. She and her husband are on their way to the CPS “Emergency Crisis Center.” Why?

The police picked up the kids when they were outside AGAIN sometime this afternoon, and this time the cops TOOK THEM WITHOUT TELLING THE PARENTS.

The kids, ages 10 and 6, were supposed to come home at 6 from playing. At 6:30, Danielle says, she and her husband Sasha were pretty worried. By 8, they were frantic. Only THEN did someone from the CPS Crisis Center call the parents and say that the police had picked the children up. The kids are at the Crisis Center. (Danielle thinks that the center must be a place that is open on weekends to intake kids from dangerous situations.)

“It was dark!” said Danielle, her voice sounding shaky. “You know, I’d really had a nightmare about this, but I didn’t realize they would do it. I didn’t think they would. The kids must be terrified.”

“What did CPS tell you had happened?” I asked.

“They wouldn’t tell me anything about my children.”

Husband Sasha Meitiv, raised in the Soviet Union under complete state control, told his wife he was less surprised. “He said, ‘You don’t understand how cruel bureaucracy can be,'” said Danielle.

I think we all are beginning to understand just how insane, cruel, vindictive and evil the state can be when it comes to respecting human rights, in this case the right of parents who love their kids to raise them the way they see fit. And the right of kids, all kids, to be outside, part of the world, without having to worry about police snatching them off the street and holding them for hours without even letting them make a phone call.

I will keep you informed as soon as I hear back from Danielle. – L.


The Meitivs (Today Show photo.)

The Meitivs (Today Show photo.)



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  1. Nicole April 12, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

    this is frightening beyond belief.

  2. JLM April 12, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    Wow, Sasha must feel like it’s just like the good ol’ Eastern Bloc days.

    These stories are supposed to be the stuff of historical novels, to horrify modern society and make us realise how lucky we are now…

  3. Aimee April 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    I’m so speechless right now. Totally and utterly speechless. PLEASE keep us updated and let us know if there is anything we can do! Does MD CPS have an email address???

  4. Franco Tarulli April 12, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    This is absolutely appalling. These parents *must* get a lawyer. There needs to be a disciplinary investigation, as well as an investigation into whether the officers involved committed a criminal act. That all should be followed on by a lawsuit.

  5. Heather Head April 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Please let us know when/if there is a GoFundMe or similar set up to support the legal expenses for the Meitivs. I hope this blows up in Maryland’s face in a big way. So appalling.

  6. Katie April 12, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    Please, someone tell us what we can do to protest/change this? This is my county….

  7. whygee April 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    This is my county too. Were the kids being watched? Absolutely ridiculous and scary. These could be my kids.

  8. Michelle April 12, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

    I am writing a paper on Free-range parent (arguing the positives) I didn’t really know a lot about it until I started and am shocked by how much the justice system gets involved when they shouldn’t be. This is just crazy and also sounds like harassment. I wish this family the best of luck.

  9. whygee April 12, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    When I said “watched,” I meant “under surveillance” by CPS…

  10. Maria April 12, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    As someone who has worked in CPS, there is much more to this story than these kids being outside and walking and playing alone. Trust me, CPS really doesn’t want to waste time picking up kids that are not endangered. If you all believe that this is the entire story, you need to think again.

  11. tz April 12, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    You might want to try linking with copblock.org since there is some overlap. Police often enforce petty regulations and it is one of the complaints that such enforcement ruins lives. This is far worse.

    The whole enforcement-industrial complex is out of control.

  12. Warren April 12, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

    There is more to the story. CPS is now taking a stand against this family. They have threatened them in the past, and are now making good on their threats. This is nothing more than state sponsored terrorism, and it needs to stop.

    It is time for this family to fight back with suits for harassment. CPS does not have the right to abduct kids off the street, just because they don’t agree with parental choices. It was already declared earlier this year, that no laws were broken. This is scare tactics, and revenge by the authorities for all the negative publicity the first case brought them.

  13. Michelle April 12, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    Maria, I think you are underestimating the strength of the belief of some people in power that children simply being outside unsupervised ARE “endangered.” I don’t have to take it on faith that there’s not “more to the story,” because I’ve been there. Even though, in my case, CPS decided that it wasn’t dangerous for my kids to be playing outside alone, they also instructed me not to do it again, and warned me that I’d be prosecuted if I did.

    CPS in Maryland has made it clear that they don’t want these kids playing outside alone. The Meitivs dared to disobey. It’s not the least bit surprising that they’re suffering for it.

  14. Earth Waratah April 12, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    The State is power tripping. No better way to control households than holding a gun to the heads of their children.

  15. Aimee April 12, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

    “CPS in Maryland has made it clear that they don’t want these kids playing outside alone. The Meitivs dared to disobey. It’s not the least bit surprising that they’re suffering for it.”

    This may be true–AND it means the problem is with CPS, NOT this family. Rosa Parks was told not to sit in the front of the bus. She was also arrested. Should we side with the bus company since they gave her a clear explanation of the rules?? I think not! We HAVE to fight this–all of us–if we want the state to stop regulating how we parent!

  16. Leigh April 12, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

    Cops pick up these children who are obviously perfectly safe, but in Washington, D.C., little Relisha Rudd walks off with a man in a homeless shelter and disappears – priorities screwed up here (and aren’t the Meitiv children the same who were picked up before by CPS for walking home – if so, methinks there’s some kind of vendetta here). Overweening state control is darn frightening.

  17. Nicole Gainey April 12, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

    I feel horrible for this family, this also happened tome & but I was arrested for it, thank god cps closed investigation and the felony charge was dropped /no filed but the damage it causes to the children are so unnecessary, I will be praying for them, our children should not be picked up for playing outside! http://www.gofundme.com/mykq5s you can read more of my story there or google my name, these kinds of things have to stop.

  18. maria April 12, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    I know for a fact the authorities do this with absolutely no justification or legal standing. That’s it no discussion truth plain and simple.

  19. Paul April 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    Having grown up in foster care, I’ve seen way too many social workers on power trips to not take this at face value. There are a few god ones but the majority were not in my experience. In addition standard cya procedures leave little room for discretion and common sense. It’s frightening how much unaccountable power CPS holds.

  20. Daniel Johnston April 12, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

    This must be beyond traumatizing for those kids. I predict that CPS v. Meitiv will be one of the most important battles in the free-range movement, and I can only hope that reality wins out.

  21. Melinda April 12, 2015 at 10:46 pm #


    Here is the Montgomery County Police Department’s FB page.

    Let them know it’s not a crime to let kids play outside.

  22. Anna April 12, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    Maria, I think you’re missing the backstory. The “more to the story” here is pretty obviously the fact that CPS is digging in their heels/trying to punish the family out of embarrassment at having made fools of themselves by their previous overreach against this family.

    Too bad parents can’t charge CPS with child endangerment. I’m pretty sure, hour for hour, being in the care of CPS is demonstrably more dangerous to life and limb (let alone sanity) than being at a playground.

  23. Kimberly April 12, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    In the (first) Maria’s defense:

    I think what she was getting at is that no one, not even the Meitiv’s, knew/know the circumstances at the time of their call to Lenore. I’m basing this purely on the way the conversation was written in the present tense (i.e. “The kids must be terrified” which suggests she hadn’t even spoken/seen her children yet). In which case, she (Maria) is absolutely correct in that there may be a lot more to this story than simply the police picking up two children who happened to be innocently walking home, safely and with a sense of decorum.

    There is ALWAYS more to the story whether it’s good, bad, or somewhere in between. Do I feel that in some way the Meitiv’s were asking for this? Absolutely not. Do I feel that CPS or the police may know something we don’t? No. Do I feel that CPS and the police were justified in picking up the kids? Considering the background of this story and the history between these three groups, I seriously doubt it. Of course, I would like to think that considering all of the negative publicity this case has received (for CPS and the police) that they would have tread more carefully where this is concerned.

    Sadly, what I totally envision is this: That the kids were picked up by the cops and taken to CPS and that no one even knew who these kids were (until the parents were contacted). I’m guessing that this is some blanket policy and it’s just everyone’s “bad luck” that it’s the same two children pushed this whole controversy into the national media.

    Of course, I’m just hypothesizing.

  24. CrazyCatLady April 12, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    I am NEVER EVER going to move back to MD.

  25. LauraL April 12, 2015 at 11:19 pm #


    You could be right, but these children know their phone number. Plus, the boy had a FRK card with a parents’ phone number on it last time, so I would bet he had it this time too. They know who these kids are and where they live. It’s no mystery.

  26. MR April 12, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

    Why must society be left to look after your kids? That intersection they cross in Downtown Silver Spring is even safe for full grown adults.

  27. JKP April 12, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

    Is there any way to train your kids to refuse to go with police/CPS? If the police stopped them, couldn’t the kids say “We’re fine, and we’re walking home to our parents, and you can talk with them.” And if the police tried to take them anyway, the kids could scream “We’re being ABDUCTED!! We don’t know this MAN!”

  28. Julie April 12, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

    I hope they are able to be home together this evening. Please keep us updated and let me know where I can donate a large sum of money to assist them in their upcoming law suit.

  29. caiti April 12, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    Julie, you took the words out of my mouth! I’m horrified, and so sick to my stomach.

  30. caiti April 12, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

    WHERE TO DONATE: just found Danielle Meitiv’s personal website which includes where to donate

  31. Lihtox April 13, 2015 at 12:09 am #

    Who does this CPS branch report to? What level of government oversees them? Let’s get the appropriate government officials on record.

  32. John C. Randolph April 13, 2015 at 12:16 am #

    There’s a legal term for this. It’s called “Kidnapping, false arrest, and false imprisonment.” If we had a functioning justice system in this country, those pigs would be in some deep shit.


  33. mary brown April 13, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    CPS has many problems and needs reform. The average Joe has no idea just how corrupt this agency has become. The media needs to expose how it is funded, and how bad it is for children that are in foster care.

    The hactifist group Anonymous has made CPS reform a cause. It’s a shame that the media, the government, or the church hasn’t seen fit to.


  34. Michelle April 13, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    @Aimee,I hope you don’t think I was blaming the Meitivs. This is clearly – as another poster commented – a vendetta on the part of CPS.

  35. Carl April 13, 2015 at 12:43 am #

    The police and CPS are fulfilling their own prophecy of abduction by abducting children.

    Thank you for providing the route to donate to their legal fund through http://daniellemeitiv.com/ and National Association of Parents. I’ve made a donation.

  36. Bob Hirsch April 13, 2015 at 12:52 am #

    I hate to sully this oasis of idealism with the total downer that is empirical data but children become victims of crime at a rate that is three times that of adults. Accidents are the most frequent cause of their deaths. To make a ten-year-old responsible for a six-year-old is abusive to the ten-year-old and neglectful of both. From what I read here (of limited scope, I acknowledge) some opportunities for procedural improvements notwithstanding, intervention was justified. Forgive me but this isn’t about “free-range” kids. It’s about “free-range” parenting, a hip lifestyle choice that few kids would prefer over the presence of a caregiver. CPC: 2 points, Mom & Dad (wherever they are): 0

  37. Lisa April 13, 2015 at 1:00 am #

    With the few details provided, this does sound like a case of overstepping boundaries or more. I’m just wondering why no one is asking this:
    A 6 & 10 year old were supposed to be home by 6 & by 8 their parents were frantic. Yeah, I’d hope so! What did they do in those two hours they didn’t know where their children were? Did they go look for them
    where they were supposed to be?

  38. JKP April 13, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    Bob can you actually cite your “empirical data.”

    Because the whole point of this site is that the research and numbers show the opposite. Crime is down across the board and children are safer today than when their parents were kids or when their grandparents were kids. And yet they are being denied the same basic freedoms their parents and grandparents had at those ages.

  39. Sandefjording April 13, 2015 at 2:55 am #

    This sounds all too familiar, albeit in a bit different circumstances. Here in Norway CPS are extremely powerful and bullying people as well, but for different reasons. You can be a ‘free range parent’ in Norway, but don’t you dare to be a little bit more demanding parent or to disobey the health paranoia. In Norway you won’t get in trouble for letting kids play alone, but you can get into trouble with CPS for giving them sweet food ‘too often’ or for ‘setting borders’ more strictly.

    Maria, I believe you seriously underestimate the destructive power of bureaucracy and hurt ego of social workers who didn’t get things their way. I am much more concerned for the threat of the overprotective state than any paedophile ‘out there in the streets’, because I can handle these myself + by teaching my kids to take precautions, but it is very difficult to protect yourself against the all-powerful state, whose civil servants just believe that they know better than you what to do with your children.

  40. Donald April 13, 2015 at 4:59 am #

    I agree with Heather. I would support a GoFundMe for the Meitivs. Obviously Maryland wants to dance toe to toe with the Free Range movement. This wasn’t an accident or a bureaucratic bungle. This was their way to play hardball against the Metivs.

    Let the games begin. If the Metivs don’t have a GoFundMe account, I hope they get one.

    The news loves stories that outrage people. This is one story that I’m looking forward to.

    Larry Hogan is the Maryland Governor. I hope the newspaper pisses in his cornflakes.

    @ Kimberly I respect your comment. Not sure if I agree or disagree with it. However as you pointed out,…..considering all of the negative publicity this case has received (for CPS and the police) that they would have tread more carefully where this is concerned.

    This is what makes it confusing. I don’t understand why they would want to play hardball but can’t think up any other reason why they did what they did. Even if the kids didn’t say to CPS who they are (in order to get CPS in hot water) I can’t imagine CPS or the cops not recognizing them.

  41. Donald April 13, 2015 at 5:09 am #



  42. bsolar April 13, 2015 at 5:17 am #

    Bureaucracy is the ultimate dehumanizer. I watched a journalistic inquiry in an European country infamuous for its bureaucracy in which a state worker gave residence to a couple who broke and entered the home assigned to an elder who at that time was at the hospital. This technically allowed the couple to stay in the house and forced the elder to rent a flat, since the 2 intruders could’t be legally removed anymore, even if they entered the house illegally.

    When asked whether all of this makes sense the state worker literally stated that after a few months in the office he learned to ignore common sense since the bureaucracy he is required to follow doesn’t work like that at all.

  43. BL April 13, 2015 at 5:21 am #

    “considering all of the negative publicity this case has received (for CPS and the police) that they would have tread more carefully where this is concerned.”

    Why? The CPS and police aren’t private businesses. It’s not as though people can go to a competitor.

  44. common sense April 13, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    i wonder what would happen if the police or cps workers were to be anonymously reported for child negliect? the policy of allowing anon. reports and concerns must be stopped. if you are concerned enough to call you should be concerned enough to leave your name and contact information and be prepared to testify under oath to what you claim.the government must be held more accountable for the trauma they inflict on these families. in what other “crime” do you not get to confront your accuser? if you don’t, then everything becomes hearsay. i’ve been through this, even 11 years later the wounds are still open, it took all our savings to fight and even then it wasn’t until the state police investigator[not cps or local police and sheriff] investigated our claims against the local law that we were vindicated. it was just lucky for us that our investigator had been through this himself! the meitivs need to be strong and continue fighting, this is nothing but payback by police and cps[if you think doesn’t have time for “games” come talk to me] .i would not be the least surprised if the anon caller this time was the police or cps, just to have an excuse to torture these people.

  45. Maria gallo April 13, 2015 at 8:05 am #

    I have worked in the DCF system for over 15 years. The world is just as dangerous as it ever was. But if we don’t let our children be children (play outside, learn independence) then we will have adult children living is our basements forever. We are creating fearful, anxious children with this constant barrage of sexual predators, monsters lurking in the park. Most sexual predators are relatives/close family friends of the children whom we allow into our homes. THE STATE IS NOT BETTER!

  46. Gail April 13, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    I’m so sorry this happened to you – AGAIN. We are all with you – let’s advocate to make this stop!

  47. Andrew April 13, 2015 at 8:18 am #

    Ok, these people need to move out of Maryland. It’s clear CPS isn’t going to give them any breaks. Or at least send the kids to a relative in another state and then start a law suit for harassment. This is just ridiculous.

  48. Gene Steele April 13, 2015 at 8:18 am #

    Why weren’t the the cops busted for kidnapping?

  49. William April 13, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    Research shows that most accidents happen inside the house and garden. Research shows that children are safer in traffic now as they were 30 years ago. Research shows that older teens have more traffic accidents if they didn’t learn as children. Research shows that most child abusers are familiar people, sad as it may be. And, moreover, children fare well if they can enjoy freedom and learn to trust their own judgment. So why not? Society has to learn to let go. Nobody likes control freaks.

  50. connie April 13, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    This could have been a pretend cop that picked them up. They are lucky. Too bad these parents dont have the sense to realize that.

  51. SOA April 13, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    Honestly if I was them I would move if I could. I would hate it, but I would not want to live my life in fear like that from the police and have to keep my kids indoors all the time.

    I would find another neighborhood elsewhere maybe more in the country so there would be less police influence and go to where there is a different police force and CPS and what not. This is just too much to deal with.

    They should have called 911 and the FBI and reported the kids missing and kidnapped. Then let the FBI sort the whole thing out with the Amber Alerts and everything when CPS and police had them the whole time.

  52. C.R. April 13, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Can a kidnapping case be brought against CPS? Seems like they may have unlawfully abducted and detained some young children…

  53. Buffy April 13, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    @connie, too bad you dont’ have the sense to know that it’s perfectly acceptable to allow children to engage in age-and-maturity-level-appropriate steps toward independence, and yes that means without hovering supervision.

    And the rest of you who insist we don’t have all the facts, and that of course there’s more to the story, then TELL US THE FACTS.

  54. Erin April 13, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    They need to find the nosy SOB who keeps calling 911 for walking kids!!!

  55. Violet Weed April 13, 2015 at 8:50 am #

    You are morons if you let your kids ‘free range’. I was raised on a ranch and shot/killed my first deer at age eight, and I graduated from high school at age ten, but NEVER IN MY SIXTY-SIX YEARS OF LIFE WOULD I EVER CONSIDER LEAVING TWO YOUNG CHILDREN ALONE, PARTICULARLY IN THE ‘PAEDOPHILE STATE OF MARYLAND’. tHOSE PARENTS SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT BEHIND THE BARN AND CULLED FROM THE HERD.
    The next time we hear from them, or anyone else STUPID enough to let young children roam freely in this day and age is when THOSE KIDS ARE DEAD.
    You are REALLY stupid people. MORONS. TOTALLY.

  56. Courtney Ellis April 13, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    Do you know how many times I walked to the park with my little brother when I was 8 and he was 3? Oh my they let their kids go to the park by themselves ooooooooh!! what terrible parents! ooooooh!! I learned to do a lot of things by my self because of that and the police drove by me and even waved at us. Man how times have changed, When I was a kid my mom sent us outside saying “Go play! Get out of here you guys need air!!” We took off and when we got in trouble and were told we couldn’t go outside…..it was the end of the world!! I think that it’s terrible they are being scrutinized by the law and media for doing what parents have been doing for years. Perhaps stop making up names for something that parents still do in my neighborhood and just let your kids got out and play on their own like we been doing for years and years!!

  57. jeff April 13, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    I just posted on the MCPD page “Can you please let the parents of Montgomery county why you aided in the kidnapping of the Meitiv children?”

    By CPS ‘logic’ we can all be charged with murder. Unsubstantiated, as is the original attack against the Meitivs. But murder nontheless. I love the newspeak of the charge of ‘unsubstantiated child abuse’.

  58. Denise April 13, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    “Pretend cop” Oh wow… let’s assume that a pretend cop got a real police car, a buddy and drove around looking for women. You know what? I’d be just as likely to be a victim as these kids.

    Oh better yet- what if these real cops had a real accident? Better be sure the parents are grateful that didn’t happen…

  59. Maria April 13, 2015 at 8:59 am #

    Is there any group, ACLU maybe, who can sue CPS for these gross violations of ethics, decency, common sense, and individual freedom? This cannot be allowed to continue and precedent set on this issue. Something HAS to be done now about this, the correct, logical precedent needs to be set and it seems like a lawsuit will have to be involved. I’d contribute to funding it, but seems like a perfect ACLU case.

  60. lacey April 13, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    I would never let my children play alone unsupervised, not even in front of our own
    house. Children are being hit by cars all the time, stray dogs and other animals, the crazy man down the street, and police officers who say they pulled out their tazer but end up shooting a man
    with their gun. School is even unsafe! Why would anyone let there baby’s roam free in this concrete jungle? What are the parents doing that they dont have time to watch their children? This
    is the time to teach them about the dangers of our world, then when they become of age set them

  61. Warren April 13, 2015 at 9:05 am #


    You forgot
    Thermal Nuclear War
    Freddy Kruger
    The last six episodes of Criminal Minds
    Airplane crash
    Tidal Wave
    Jack the Ripper

    oh you get the point.

    And Violet, please do not let your meds lapse again.

  62. Peter April 13, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    I’m especially intrigued by the part where they let the kids sit in a police car for 2 hours. Don’t they know that letting a kid sit in a car could be fatal, even for a few seconds? Parents have been threatened with arrest for leaving their kids in the car for 2 minutes while they ran into the school to pick up another one of their children.

  63. jarmila April 13, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    I think these people have a problem with someone in their neighborhood , who hate something about them, or jealous about something. Its not about kids playing alone in the park. My kids used to play alone police saw them playing in the park and on the school yard. They knew where these kids lived and never once told me i cant leave my kids alone to play . I don’t think this is what parents should worry about, But i would really try as much as i can, for my kids safety , who keeps calling to police, one day they can hire someone to kidnap the kids to be spiteful . This person who does this it’s crazy .

  64. caiti April 13, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    Peter- exactly!

  65. Paul April 13, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    is the time to teach them about the dangers of our world, then when they become of age set them

    So, in other words, now is the time to teach them to adopt your neuroses so that they may become completely helpless adults who in turn teach future generations that the world is a scary place where no one can be trusted? Yeah, I think I’ll go another route with my kids.

  66. SOA April 13, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    I don’t think its a neighbor. I just have a feeling the first encounter was random cop on his beat passing by and taking action. Then after the whole story blew up on social media and news sites, someone at CPS has a vendetta against them possibly police as well so they were watching for the kids again so they could get them again. That is my theory.

  67. Jill April 13, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Warren — you forgot sinkholes. One moment your precious child is standing outside, safe and sound, and the next WHAM! the earth swallows him up, This doesn’t happen often, but even one time is too many. It’s better to keep children inside, where the only danger is:

    Accidental electrocution
    Drowning in the bathtub
    Ingesting poison
    Falling down stairs
    Carbon monoxide poisoning
    Obesity from sitting on their duffs in front of the TV

    BTW, my vote for insane comment of the day goes to the person who labelled the actions of the woman who accidentally dropped her two-year-old son into the cheetah enclosure at the Cleveland zoo as being typical of Free Range Parents.

  68. Anna April 13, 2015 at 9:47 am #

    When you think about it, this is basically the same story as that one where the mom and aunt “kidnapped” the kid to teach him to be more fearful of strangers, except it’s the cops staging the fake kidnapping to teach the parents to be fearful.

  69. Ruthanne April 13, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    This is terrible and so frightening! My husband is from Russia and Ukraine and he remains flabbergasted at how people and the local governments in the US get up in arms about children having responsibilities and playing outside away from parents. He wonders how any children are going to grow up to take any responsibility for themselves given the current state of “socially normal” parenting in this country.

    Please know that our hearts are with you and your children, dear Meitiv Family, and please let us know if we can do anything to help you.

  70. Louisa April 13, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    JIll and Warren:

    You forgot spontaneous combustion! That’s why I follow my children around 100% of the time carrying a fire extinguisher. I haven’t slept in 13 years!

  71. Rich April 13, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    Go to the State Police or FBI and file kidnapping charges against the cops.

  72. Andrew Jones April 13, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    Maria – I’m sure, like many of the good caring people, that work at CPS, you *wouldn’t* to this. Neither would most rational-thinking cops.

    *Sadly* these people are in the same minority group that comprises people with good risk-assessment skills and a significant amount of common sense.

    More and more people work “by the book” no matter how *stupid* the book is. Even more operate with the idea that only they are right, and then ask for things that are inherently contradictory.

    Did you not read other postings on this site? Parents being asked to sign *legally binding* documents, which if contravened lead to prosecution, and which say “I will *NEVER* leave a child alone in an automobile again”, in a state with a driving age of 16…and an age of majority of 18……see the contraction? The state is saying …yes, your 16-year old is legally allowed to drive the car alone….and CPS is making the parent sign stating that they will never allow a *child* (legally, until the age of 18) be alone in a car, under threat of prosecution. So, your child can legally drive, but you can’t legally let them, because of some busy-body, dictator-want-to-be at CPS that can’t see the logical consequences of their actions even if they are nail-gunned to their head.

    This is what happens when you let bureaucracy decide things.

    I know a foster family, that due to the biological mother’s *insanity* (yes, she is *insane* you should see the reasons the child was removed from her care) they have been granted foster care until the age of *majority*. They are the *de facto* parents. They have 2 kids of their own as well. In a couple of years, the child will be scheduled to start public school, which will *require* that the child be vaccinated. *Mommy is anti-vax (on top of other crazy things)* and apparently, even though she isn’t fit to raise the child, she is allowed to decide on his vaccinations. So what happens in a few years? The foster parents will be faced with a child who *has* to be schooled, but whom they aren’t allowed to send to public school – as they have no legal right to demand an exemption (not his parents) but the *parent* doesn’t have the right to ask for either, as the child is not in their care. Just keep him home? Not allowed *either*. Home School – they are neither trained or ready for that. CPS, like all bureaucracies, is designed to be self-expanding, and controlling, even if their work doesn’t make *any* sense.

    To summarize, is their more to the story? Of course there is. Is it to the detriment of the parents or the system? I’d bet *strongly* to the detriment to the system.

    I would suggest that people start making anonymous (because they are anonymous, how can they identify you?) complaints about the families of the police and cps employees, and see how they like having the “rules” applied to them – because we all know, it’s for the safety of the children, right? Never a personal vendetta against parents that think you’re full of shit for being in a panic over children playing alone, without an armed guard. (Heaven forbid the *father* be the one to supervise his children – you’d get *another* busybody calling about how there’s a “pedophile at the park” and now the *father* gets taken away…..)

  73. Andrew Jones April 13, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Peter – I handn’t thought of that – can they charge the police with reckless endangerment? After all, the *parents* can – is there some magical property of police cars that make them safer to have kids inside? I’d say they are *more* dangerous, because if it got too hot, the kids *cannot* open the back doors to get out…even if they want to.

  74. Rebecca April 13, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    State sponsored kidnapping at it’s finest!

    My kids are still to young and untrustworthy to be let outside by themselves but I am drilling into them now who they can go with and the police or any other person in uniform or CPS worker is definitely not one of them, they have my permission to kick, bite, hit, scream etc if anyone other than me, their dad or the people we trust try to ‘kidnap’ them.

    It seems that the parents in their neighborhood/town etc need to organize some sort of huge kid sit in aka send hoards of kids to their neighborhood parks! Not sure how the PD or CPS would handle such a huge influx of ‘neglected’ children especially if said children turned on them Lord of the Flies style!

  75. SOA April 13, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Andrew is right about stupid CPS laws they inflict on you. My friend is in a similar situation where she is raising her nephew because the parents are on drugs and neglectful. Or at least his mom was neglectful and the Dad was on drugs but is getting clean.

    She was kinda forced into taking her nephew because it was her or foster care. The state gives her no money for him except food stamps and healthcare. She has to come up with everything else herself. Would not even help with daycare costs so she could continue to go to college.

    But not only that, they now get to boss her around because she has too much of a heart to put him in foster care. She is not allowed to stay overnight at her parent’s home because her brother also lives there and apparently he cannot be in the same building as his father overnight even if she is there and grandparents are there too. So that law makes no real sense and is shutting her out of being able to spend time with her parents.

    She has to “work with” the drug addict mother and take her phone calls and let her visit him and the mom comes in and out inconsistently and messes up routines and creates drama. She has her family members spying on my friend looking for something to report on her for. There are a lot of rules that CPS put in place on my friend that she has to follow.

    So it does come across as punishing her for having a heart and keeping her nephew out of foster care. I don’t think its right. She deserves a medal for doing this, not rules and regulations.

  76. bug April 13, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Can they sue for kidnapping?

  77. Havva April 13, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    Part of the more to the story you can find by clicking the Meitiv tag at the bottom of the article. Some more of more to the story, is that Montgomery county CPS is out of control.

    My sister’s family wound up in the system with one of these ‘unsubstantiated’ designations where the case isn’t active but it isn’t closed. They too are living with a “voluntary agreement” that is anything but. All because a parent yelled at his 10 year old for doing something truly stupid and dangerous that injured another child. Sure it wasn’t a shining moment of parenting, but it wasn’t anything that would have raised an eyebrow when we were kids. Oh the person reporting them twisted the story, but the cop agreed with the injured child on what the actual facts were. And still CPS was brought out, and still there was an unreasonable “voluntary agreement” as the price of not putting the family through hell. After this run in with CPS, my sister started asking her neighbors if any of them had heard of a CPS intervention like theirs. Half the families on her street admitted to her that they have an open file with CPS. HALF of them! This is not a crime ridden neighborhood. It’s not a place where parents can’t find or afford safe housing or childcare. It is a practically idyllic 1950’s neighborhood. It is full of well educated and generally cautious families. The parents that I have met strike me as too worried and doting more than anything.

    I think the main reasons people don’t know how bad it is in Montgomery County is because all these families are too embarrassed to let people know about their problems. How may people would expose themselves like my sister did and go tell the neighbors CPS has an open file on her family? My sister had many friends in the same situation who didn’t tell her their stories to her until she told her story. So of course they don’t talk, because they anticipate reactions like Maria’s that everyone will think there is more to the story, that in truth the parents are horrible parents otherwise surly CPS wouldn’t waste time on them. And that is exactly why CPS can get completely out of hand without anyone realizing there is an endemic problem.

    The real question to me is, can anyone, in their right mind, believe that HALF of the parents in Silver Spring Maryland’s are horrid child abusers/ negligent parents? Or even worthy of suspicion? I sure don’t believe that is reasonable.

  78. LRH April 13, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    This is to anyone who commented about how “awful” such parents are, and how “neglectful” they are, and how the children ought to be taken away from them.

    Let me make this easy for you.

    How other people parent their children–IT’S NONE OF YOUR BLEEPING BUSINESS!!! Those kids are THEIR kids to parent how THEY want. People like you are the problem, totally, you don’t know how to disagree and leave it be, no, you have to advocate for the USSR (practically) to get involved and butt in. If it were up to me, you and any others like you riding the phones and interfering where you’re not wanted, you’d would be THROWN IN JAIL for harassing parents who are minding their own business.

    Let me make this plain for you–as a parent of 2 children ages 6 & 8, I don’t care diddly darn what you think of my parenting, or their parenting, or the parenting of the man on the moon. No one died and make you King or Queen of the world, and no one owes you any explanation as to why they parent their children as they do. I can promise you that if you butted your nose into my busines and I knew who you were, I’d be inclined (if I didn’t actually do this in reality) to have my fist meet your nose right square in the kisser. You are doing nothing less than interfering in a parent’s God-given authority and the likes of you must be stopped.

    Now, please, go back to whatever hole you crawled out of, and STAY there.

  79. Pat April 13, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    Sounds like the kids are in danger of being kidnapped and traumatized by the police in that town. When I was a young un, we were allowed the freedom to play in the neighborhood and walk to our friends’ homes from about five or six on, without having to worry about the police kidnapping us.

  80. alven April 13, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Surely the people at CPS do not want to waste precious time with this type of case when they have children to help who are in actual danger of abuse or neglect. CPS is a necessary agency and they do important but thankless work under difficult circumstances. They shouldn’t be used to respond to situations like this one.
    And people who make a call to 911 or CPS when there’s no evidence of an emergency, abuse, or neglect can be held at fault. They may be “anonymous” informants but they’re not anonymous to the people accepting their complaints.
    It sounds like the police in Silver Spring have very poor judgment or they’re not being allowed to use their discretion and common sense.
    If I lived near Silver Spring I would recruit a lot of parents to stage a demonstration of unaccompanied children marching to the park.

  81. Paul April 13, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    “If I lived near Silver Spring I would recruit a lot of parents to stage a demonstration of unaccompanied children marching to the park.”

    I just contacted Lenore about this as I do live in this neighborhood, or at least in relative proximity. I would welcome an opportunity to band together and at least have some kind of community meeting before more kids start getting snatched up by the police.

  82. Pete April 13, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    OK, so it is now the official position of the montgomery county police that their streets are not safe for children.

    Can we please make sure they are asked, repeatedly, what they are doing to make sure children can safely walk the streets?

  83. John April 13, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    It seems as if law enforcement along with CPS are picking on these parents. The Meitivs apparently are under the “watch list” of both CPS and law enforcement. This is the only reason I can think of as to why these two children were plucked off the street again by the police. I hope the Meitivs can get a good lawyer and sue the crap out of CPS and/or the city! IF that is legally possible.

  84. Ben April 13, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    @Franco: Of course, these officers committed a criminal act! They took children away from their parents without the consent of either the kids or the parents. They have literally no defense. If they claim they were worried for the kids’ safety, they should have done so based on evidence like evidence of dangerous living conditions or abuse (neither of which exist).

    I hope the parents get CPS and police in court, because this makes me angry beyond belief. They have no business deciding how someone should raise their kids.

  85. david zaitzeff April 13, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    Is there a lawyer who believes in your ideas who would help them to sue?

  86. kate April 13, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    “a hip lifestyle choice that few kids would prefer over the presence of a caregiver. CPC: 2 points, Mom & Dad (wherever they are): 0” Bob, you have misunderstood the concept of free range parenting. It is not about leaving incapable children by themselves all day. It is about slowly teaching kids about independance. Contrary to your belief, most kids I know were thrilled the first time they were allowed to get the mail by themselves, run to a neighbors house on their own or even head to the park on thier own, Kids are not in danger every time we leave them by themselves. They learn to cope and be independant sooner than you seem to believe.

  87. Dan April 13, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    Some details: how old were the kids? How long were they “unattended”? How did it come to be that they were kidnapped by the police… Some other details would have been helpful here!

  88. Captain America April 13, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    The one kid is TEN. . . and can’t go to his local park?

    What the hell with this?

    Are the cops crazy? What’s wrong with the police department there?

    Good Lord! Good grief! What the hell are the parks there for, anyway?

  89. Warren April 13, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    Are your kids like mine…..when it comes to groceries my kids are sinkholes. One minute the foods there, blink and it is gone.

  90. Warren April 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    To all those paranoid parents commenting on the dangers of being snatched up off the streets……………. It isn’t that easy to get a kid abducted by strangers. I would send my kids out with a sign taped to their backs,
    And every freaking day, my kids would come home safe and sound. So see no matter how hard you try, you just cannot get anyone to take them.

  91. kate April 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    “What are the parents doing that they dont have time to watch their children? ” Some parents work for a living. Some parents choose to make dinner, care for younger siblings, or take classes. What parent can give up everything aside from watching children 24/7 for 18 years? Kids do not suddenly become capable at the age of 18 if they haven’t had any practice being independant and, yes, making mistakes.

    A four year old can be left in the house for a few minutes while a parent checks the mail or is outside chatting with a neighbor. The five year old should be able to go outside for a few minutes to get the mail or walk to a close by friends house. By the time she is six, she should be able to play outside in the backyard for 15 minutes to half an hour. You can still be supervising your children without being in the same room or holding them right next to you when you are outside.

    Free range parenting is not about leaving a toddler to fend for himself while you go out to the bars, it is about teaching responsibility in an age appropriate manner.

  92. Beth April 13, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    “OK, so it is now the official position of the montgomery county police that their streets are not safe for children.”

    Not only that, they are saying that the public parks, funded by this family and all other taxpayers, are not safe for children either, not even a 5th grader! Gosh, if there are so many criminals lurking at the public parks intent on doing bad things to children, wouldn’t it make more sense to arrest the criminals, instead of the kids?

    Why is Montgomery County letting the bad guys win?

  93. Papilio April 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    Something tells me childhood in the Sovjet-Union didn’t include being harassed by cops when walking home with a sibling…

  94. bridgett carter April 13, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    The parents are the ones wrong here. Watch your kids!

  95. Jeremy Hillman April 13, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Completely outrageous. Please let us have an e-mail address to which we can complain – or give us some names of those responsible and we’ll find their e-mail addresses

  96. Lucas de Brouwer April 13, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    Oh my, this article is superlative enough to be describing an imminent nuclear winter following a with Russia!

    You should tone it down- at the moment it sounds utterly ridiculous and therefore can’t be taken seriously.

  97. Devini April 13, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    What if wasn’t the police who took the children into their custody? I don’t know the entire story here, but if you are warned and having a problem, why would you let your kids out of your sight? They are only 6 and 10. Get a grip on your babies and keep them safe where they should be. Get off of your butt and take them to the park, play with your kids instead of sending them out to play alone unsupervised. Whether anyone else is right or wrong, they are YOUR babies. Spend that time with them. Don’t put yourself vulnerable to neglect charges. How hard is that?

  98. jeff April 13, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    Beth. I love your comment. May I take it to my facebook page with notation that it it from here and written by you?

  99. Paul April 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    I don’t know the entire story here,

    Well then I’m glad you’re not going to proceed to comment and make a fool of yourself. Whoops, looks like there’s more text.

    but if you are warned and having a problem, why would you let your kids out of your sight?

    Yes, the proper response is to maniacally look after your children 24/7. Children are fragile things that can never once be left to their own devices.

    They are only 6 and 10. Get a grip on your babies

    The fact that you refer to 6 and 10 year olds as babies is quite illustrative of your overall mentality. And not in a way that is flattering to you.

    Get off of your butt and take them to the park, play with your kids instead of sending them out to play alone unsupervised.

    Interesting that you jump to laziness as a rationale. You know what, if my parents never let me out of their site when I was ten, and insisted on playing with me at all times I would have turned into a wreck as an adult. KIds need time to play off by themselves. Even my mother, who frankly was a bit of a neurotic at times, had the sense to let me play on my own without supervision. It’s called growing up.

    Whether anyone else is right or wrong, they are YOUR babies.

    Again, you refer to children as babies. If you’ve got children, I fear what kind of over-supervised messes they must be.

  100. Olga April 13, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    Guys, I was raised in the former Soviet Union and as a USSR kid can tell you that NOTHING OF THE KIND could happen in the USSR. 95% of the children would always play outside unattended and a mom would cry out her child’s name from the flat balcony when it was time to go home/have dinner/get your homework done etc… If a kid was lost a policeman would ALWAYS ask his name and address first, and take the child home. Should the child not know his parents’ names and his/her address, he would be taken to the police and the policemen start the search of the parents. This is how it worked and works till now. Never ever you can imagine a situation that a police wants to give poor parents a lesson and not inform them where they take their kids – this is treated as an abduction! I am not aware of the specifics and US laws in terms of parenting but to me the human rights’ violation is obvious.

  101. Monica April 13, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    How awful!! What can we do to help?

  102. Andrew Jones April 13, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    Devini: “What if if wasn’t the Police who took the kids into custody?”

    Let me type this slowly, so you can understand (sarcasm):

    Free-Ranged children, unlike the over-coddled, over-protected kids you might be familiar with, actually have *some* sort of sense of what is *normal*. They are *taught* that, *before* being allowed to do age-appropriate activities.

    So, were the Police able to coerce the children to enter the squad car? Yes, because the Metiv’s, in the name of being good citizens, taught their children to at least partially trust the police. (Of course, now that they see what they behave like, all good free range parents should teach their kids to trust the police *ONLY* in the direst emergencies)

    A Free-Ranged child will actually have the knowledge that a stranger (not a supposedly trusted authority figure, like a policeman) trying to get them in their car is a bad thing, and promptly either run away, or draw so much attention to themselves that the stranger will leave as quickly as possible.

    You see, children actually have real decision making powers, if you empower them to use them.

    And for those going “what if was a fake policeman?” With a fake police car? Anyone that well equipped would be more likely to go around seizing property under the forfeiture laws, than take a couple of kids that will make their life a living hell, once they figure out they aren’t a real policeman. While you’re at it, why don’t you worry that a long-buried hybernating dinosaur could wake up and eat them – it’s probably as likely.

  103. Warren April 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm #

    Here is an idea. You are wrong about these parents. You watch your kids all you want, and do not tell me how to raise my kids, because they are not yours, and it is none of your business.

  104. JulieC April 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    Some of the overprotective parents criticizing the Meitivs apparently haven’t seen what the effect of helicopter parenting has on kids.

    Children who are constantly watched, who continually expect the parent to “play” with them, who cannot solve simple disputes or problems without mommy or daddy rushing in to “help” often turn into college freshman who either 1) go crazy with drinking, sex, and/or drugs once there are no restrictions on them or 2) constantly call or text mommy or daddy about every bleeping thing goes wrong, requesting help. And sadly those parents can’t stop helicoptering their young adult children either.

    Your job as a parent is to raise responsible, self-reliant adults. Allowing a 10 year old to be at the park and responsible for his 6 year old sister is the opposite of neglect.

  105. anonymous mom April 13, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    As others have noted, if the parks are so unsafe that a 10 year old can’t play there unsupervised (and how many kids older than 10 are going to be hanging out at a park? I don’t think I went to the park after 10 or 11 at the absolute oldest), THAT seems to be what the police in the area should be dealing with, not parents who let children play alone.

  106. Beth April 13, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    @jeff…sure thing!!

  107. Dennis O'Brien April 13, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    I was all over the place at 6 or 7. In first grade you walked to school and I notice some of the Psych people buffering that issue by declaring school walkers to be within reasonable limits. We do not need more government jokers poking their nose where it does not belong. The system is so involved that the degree of monitoring is comical. They seem to want total control of behavior. I applaude these parents and raised my kids in a similar manor. Cops should not be allowed to take two kids who are walking along the street into custody for hours. My god if a cop ever picked me up at 6 he would have taken me home,but cops did not bother you when you were 6 in 1975. Screw the government,and sue them blind, they are way out of bounds here,and in this case a disgrace to the spirit of America.

  108. Hugo S Cunningham April 13, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    The perfectly safe route where the ten-year-old escorted his six-year-old brother should be used for a national “Children’s March for Growth and Freedom.” The First Lady should be invited to participate as part of her action against childhood obesity.

    After the march, families could make a short side trip to lobby Congress for a civil-rights law against “kidnaping under color of authority” and “child abuse under color of authority,” drafted to make these Montgomery County officials (and any imitators) liable for stiff criminal and civil penalties.

  109. Sue Masselink April 13, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    Could the parents give the kids a cell phone so they can call home next time they’re detained by police or CPS?

  110. Hugo S Cunningham April 13, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    Olga reminded me of a van trip I made with about 15 other foreigners, average age early 20s, in the last year of the USSR (1990). In Yalta, some of us befriended a venturesome boy age 10 or so, who we took for a day as a guide about town. Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn would have understood perfectly, but already in 1990 I recognized that such spontaneity was no longer tolerated in the land of the formerly free.

  111. Barbara April 13, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Wake up parents it is no longer the 50’s. Good for the Police . Maybe teach these so called “Free Range “parents what being a parent means.

  112. MR April 13, 2015 at 6:54 pm #


    Tom Sawyer was fiction and he did get himself in trouble often. A simple Google Street view will show the busy intersection in Downtown Silver Spring near where kids were picked up the first time. It’s not even safe for full grown adults to cross some of the busy streets of Downtown Silver Spring. This isn’t the rural banks of the Mississippi river.

    A child of 6 still believes in Santa Clause. how can anyone expect them to stay out of trouble? Why should society have to look out for these kids?

    They shouldnt have become parents if they don’t want to do the work that being a responsible parent requires.

  113. Papilio April 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm #

    @MR: If that crossing is so dangerous even for adults, then have the local government improve pedestrian safety instead of basically abducting kids off the streets claiming ‘it’s not safe’.

  114. sigh April 13, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

    I just donated as well. I pray they won’t give up and start kowtowing to Maryland’s ridiculous CPS demands.

    Please, please, hang in there. You may decided it’s all too much for your kids but I hope you won’t. Somebody, somewhere, has to stand up and be firm against this overreaching of government, and your family is a great family to do this.

    I gave money, but maybe I can give more. Ask Lenore if you want someone to vent to… I can provide support and empathy… shared reality… and I am so sorry you are experiencing the pain of this.

    Sometimes things have to get really, really awful before they can get better, I guess.

  115. VotelConstitutionalist April 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    The German people swore it would never happen right before the Nazi’s took over. Welcome to the New World Order.

  116. James April 13, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    When I was growing up, in the 60s-80s, not only was I given a watch and told to be home by 6:30 or not get dinner, so did all of my friends.

    From 1st day of first grade until I got both a license and a car, I walked to school. First through 5th, 1.5 miles (each way). Sixth through 8th, 3/4 mile. First 3 years of HS – 2+. Never did I take a bus. And, my parents were always at work well before I left for school & home well after.

    It taught me several things: navigation, confidence (never let a dog see you nervous), timekeeping / math.

    And the few times that the local police spotted us in places we shouldn’t be (the city dump, the local members-only country club, a local active quarry), we either got yelled at by the cop, telling us to get lost & not come back (frequent), or the obligatory ride back home, where the cop would drop us off, knowing full well that our asses would be tanned by our parents.

    I don’t know where in the last two generations this got lost, but we better find it again!

  117. Philothea April 13, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    I’m a free-range kid and I’m absolutely appalled by what the police here are doing. I know everyone has been suggesting legislation, but I think for this particular case, a change.org petition would be very effective. In this case, the police are clearly overstepping their bounds and I think you could have a lot of success with getting petition signatures that would in some way help this family out. 🙂
    I love everything you’re doing!

  118. Hugo S Cunningham April 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    The six year old kid was under the supervision of her 10-year-old brother.

    As for Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain said he was a composite of actual kids MT grew up with. MT was not criticized at the time for showing kids with an unrealistic degree of autonomy. In those days, American kids grew up to become adults known worldwide for enterprise and initiative. They did not need parents to accompany them on job searches.

  119. Kim Kinzie April 13, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

    I am utterly speechless. I saw this earlier on Facebook as a mutual friend posted the story. A friend of hers, who happens to live in Silver Spring, posted a link to a press release that presents the “other side.” Of course there are always two sides of every story, so to be fair, I clicked on the link she provided:


    There is nothing in this press release that makes me change my opinion that the cops’ behavior was beyond outrageous. I hope the Meitivs feel supported here and that, if necessary, we can ban together and help them win this battle. I’m so sad for them, and their kids.

  120. Reziac April 13, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    Here’s a question for a smart lawyer:

    How was this not kidnapping?

  121. Patricia Meloy-Junkroski April 13, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    This is such a crock. So the great parent teaches her/his kids to be independent, to be safe, to be smart, to stay together, to respect PolIce, and the police say the parent/s is/are neglectful. I thought this is what kids needed to know and practice in order to become street-smart, wary and survivors in life without mommy and daddy holding their hand 24-7. Isn’t it more the Policeman’s job to monitor the streets for the public safety? Shouldn’t they be combing neighborhoods for ne’er-do-wells who look as if they are out of place and possiblly up to something? To get out of the precinct, get away from the phones, the desk, the office and meet those who pay their paychecks? As a parent, I would expect that, should my child have the opportunity to meet the neighborhood patrolman out on the sidewalk that that policeman would take the time to know my kids, to teach them something about police work, to praise them for doing something smart like walking together, and to ask them if they knew what they would do in certain situations. C’mon, officer, sir, mom and dad cannot do it all. You are an important figure in children’s lives too. A very important part. Aren’t you proud to do that kind of police work? To teach? To be close to those kids? To let them know you are there for them just like their folks are at home? Get real. This is life in a free country. For a while longer, anyway.

  122. Patricia Meloy-Junkroski April 13, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    This is such a crock. So the great parent teaches her/his kids to be independent, to be safe, to be smart, to stay together, to respect PolIce, and the police say the parent/s is/are neglectful. I thought this is what kids needed to know and practice in order to become street-smart, wary and survivors in life without mommy and daddy holding their hand 24-7. Isn’t it more the Policeman’s job to monitor the streets for the public safety? Shouldn’t they be combing neighborhoods for ne’er-do-wells who look as if they are out of place and possiblly up to something? To get out of the precinct headq uarters, get away from the phones, the desk, the office and meet those who pay their paychecks? As a parent, I would expect that, should my child have the opportunity to meet the neighborhood patrolman out on the sidewalk that that policeman would take the time to know my kids, to teach them something about police work, to praise them for doing something smart like walking together, and to ask them if they knew what they would do in certain situations. C’mon, officer, sir, mom and dad cannot do it all. You are an important figure in children’s lives too. A very important part. Aren’t you proud to do that kind of police work? To teach? To be close to those kids? To let them know you are there for them just like their folks are at home? Get real. This is life in a free country. For a while longer, anyway.

  123. Steve April 13, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    In Madison growing up in the 60’s — we went to watch the riots and then collected the empty pepper gas canisters and brought them to show-and-tell. We were nine and we were smart enough to stay safe. Some of my best memories. We weren’t political, just enjoying the action.

  124. Joan April 13, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    This whole situation is insane. I grew up in a large family in Baltimore MD In the 80’s and we were ‘free range’. From about 7, we rode the city bus, went hiking in the park by Johns Hopkins, went to playgrounds, stores, and friends homes. We always had to go in pairs, tell our mother where we were going and be home by dark. We all lived to be well educated, successful, independent and creative adults. This is because of, not in spite of, our upbringing. These kids need a lawyer, someone they can call when they are being harassed. The MD law does not say they can’t play outside alone, and seriously, who would pass such a stupid law? How do you expect a 10 year old who cant be left alone to drive a car at 16 and be an adult at 18?

  125. Heidi April 14, 2015 at 12:21 am #

    I can’t believe this family is still dealing with this.

  126. D April 14, 2015 at 12:45 am #

    People should know that to be left unattended at all hours you have to be 13 well that is the law in DC

  127. Shannon April 14, 2015 at 12:56 am #

    So many people are making comments in other media posts that condemn this family with suggestions that the children are at risk of being abducted or harmed by strangers in some way. I find this incredibly alarming….
    Most children know their abductors and molesters. Stranger danger is what put so many of our child at further risk. People were so busy looking for the stranger that they missed the perverted uncle and married the perverted step-father. Those are the real dangers. And children need to be able to develop skills that foster resilience. I have always allowed my kids to play freely but they have also always known where they can turn to for support and help if they ever need. They are strong well-adjusted adults now who can deal with the pressures of adulthood… and they were dealing with those pressures in their late teens and early 20s. My son’s principal was so impressed with him that he called me to let me know that my son had been remiss on getting his work done in class but not only did he admit to it, he walked into the principal’s office to say, “I know why you’re calling me in here… it’s because I’m behind in my classes. I’ve been slacking off and I have no excuse for it.” Then he proceeded to let the principal know that he would buckle down and get caught up… and he did just that. He’s like that because he’s been given enough responsibility and independence to make his own mistakes but always with the support and guidance of his family.
    Coddling our kids has made our world into a place that has little resilience for the hardness of life. As a counsellor, I see those young adults in my office, struggling with adult issues with the emotional (and cognitive) resiliency of a child. It’s not fair to our people and we end up with the adolescent stage extended to 29 years of age (sometimes even older)

  128. Les April 14, 2015 at 2:46 am #

    Trudy Kahn – Montgomery County CPS Administrator

    Home Address & Phone number:

    19423 Battleridge WAY
    Montgomery Village, MD 20886
    (301) 926-3708

  129. RedRedMane April 14, 2015 at 3:14 am #

    I support “free range parenting” groups. I also support “free range children’s” groups. Because I can “sympathize” with people of ALL AGES who want to be free! But, I’m afraid I don’t have any kids of my own.
    I have donated money to “children’s freedom” groups. What did THAT do? It got me placed on some sort of FBI “to be watched” list! I also got a call from the police! They ALSO knew my “stance” on child-freedom. They said that as far as they were concerned, I was what amounted to a PEDOPHILE ENABLER!!! They asked me what my motives REALLY were! When I told them, they seemed to not “believe” me. They also let me know that they would be “keeping tabs” on me! And THAT folks is what’s this new “police state psychopathy” is REALLY all about!
    Let me WARN you: Do NOT underestimate the sheer raw VICIOUSNESS of these new “sex offender witch-hunts!!!” I was receiving DEATH THREATS, I got SPIT on, I received threatening phone calls,… you name it!!! In short, I ended up LOOKING like a “pederast” in the eyes of the entire town! Lost my job, my neighbors eyed me very “suspiciously”, I got “stared down” by overprotective fathers ( at least 3 of whom were off-duty “police officers!… Yeah.,,, “ZOINKS!!!!!” ), and I had an old lady say,..”you Aughtta be ASHAMED of yourself!!!” All because it came to light that I supported the right of the child to roam freely in his or her own community!!!
    How does this insane anti-predator “witch-hunt” TARGET our kids??? The answer is rooted in EXTREME paranoia!!! When little Adam Walsh was kidnapped and killed, parents and authorities were “righteously” terrified for their children’s safety. And thanks to the global MEDIA mind-control institution, parents everywhere were made to believe that there was a dirty old pedophile HIDING IN ALMOST EVERY BUSH IN THE NATION!!! The hysteria spread like a WILD FIRE! And it has been “smoldering” ever since!!! All the too soon, parents and the authorities began to realize something “awful!” They began to realize that Adam Walsh’s inbred sick abductors were once “kids” too!!! That’s when school officials, police, child-safety groups, and parents began to look upon all the children in the schoolyard with “extreme scrutiny!” Now, our once great Nation’s schools are “zero-tolerance-to-the MAX!!!” No “touching” of ANY kind! And mock gunfights can get kids ARRESTED!! Kissing is now considered “sexual harassment” ( perhaps maybe even SEXUAL ASSAULT!!! ) punishable by LAW!!!! All in the name of “weeding out THE BAD ONES!!!” …. Oh, darn RIGHT! ( says officer Roscoe P. Coaltrain )We’ve got to learn to “spot” all the future pedophiles ( be they male OR female!!! ) and any future bomb-strapping “extremists” and get them on “watch-lists” and “registries” before they get the chance to grow up to become rapists, weapon-wielders, arsonists, etc,!!!! Result: Our modern, zero-tolerance schools are a lot like the ones that existed in Russia under Stalin. And law enforcement is VIGILANTLY marching lock-step with this new, hellish “child safety” program! … The same one that is actively rounding-up all our KIDS because “parents cannot be trusted”, and “serial killers, arsonists, rapists, Internet predators, terrorists, and “sickos” we’re all children once, too!!!” The authorities really are SERIOUS about PUNISHING young percieved “rebels!!!” I wonder if they’ve now profiled “red-haired” kids as soul-less deviants, retards, nut-cases, and psychos, who may also grow up to “cause trouble!?” I mean, seriously, that’s about the way that the “authorities” ARE today. It really is scary. And, unfortunately, I found out just how scary things can really GET!
    It “came to light ” that I supported what’s tantamount to the world’s first CHILDREN’S FREEDOM movement and that I was also against witch-hunts of ANY kind! ( I’ve always felt that only the REAL predators should be placed on S.O. registries, not child and teenage “sexters”, and everybody that ever got caught “messing around” in High School!!! – “Let only those who have NO SIN cast the first stone!!!’~ Jesus. )
    As a result of my “views” on fairness, and children’s FREEDOM, I was rudely reminded of how things are when I got confronted by the new “sex offender-crusaders!!! THAT’S what’s REALLY spearheading this insane, zero-tolerance “child safety” program that has placed all our nation’s children ( I hear that Britain is even WORSE! ) behind “legally locked doors!” In your fight to re-gain children’s freedom, be ever so CAREFUL that you don’t enrage the psychotic parental MOB!!! Believe me, you do NOT want to experience that level of “seething” animosity!!! I’d forgotten just how “dangerous” this madness could be! The public has been whipped up into a fitful hysteria by an “agenda driven” MEDIA. Their anger is simply “terrifying!” You do NOT want to end up being thrown under THAT bus!!!! When you go up against control-freak “helicopter parents” ( who’ve been made infinitely WORSE by the new driving hysteria! ), you can find yourself BANISHED FROM TOWN if you’re not careful!!!

  130. RedRedMane April 14, 2015 at 3:45 am #

    And the ACLU is WORTHLESS! They are nothin’ but a bunch of politically propped-up POSERS!!! Back in the days of Peter Paul & Mary, back when Martin Luther King was still alive, the ACLU was really “something!” They fought VICIOUSLY for the rights of EVERYBODY!!! Today, the ACLU buildings consist of largely empty offices, poorly maintained buildings, and small “skeleton crews” of sassy people ( mostly mInority groups, gays, and lesbians ) who exclusively “cherry pick” who they will defend based on RACE and or SEXUAL ORIENTATION. They also won’t defend Christians. In fact, many people in the ACLU are IN FAVOR of the new insane “child safety” legislations! Believe me, it will do do good to contact the ACLU. That organization’s been “fossilized” since “The Jeffersons” tv show had run it’s course and was taken off the air.

  131. sexhysteria April 14, 2015 at 5:15 am #

    I don’t undertand why the parents don’t get a lawyer to sue the police and CPS. The policy of picking up kids without telling their parents first is unjustifiable.These government employees are abusing their power and terrorizing an innocent family. The parents and children are suffering and deserve to be awarded compensation and punitive damages.

  132. Carole April 14, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    Read all of the comments. They all sound great until it’s your own child that doesn’t come home. The same people you hate now will be the ones looking ceaselessly for them. The police see the dark side of our cities daily. Places we think are 1950’s save may not be. There are many ways to teach independance that don’t require solo trips. I have also met some pushy public servants. I feel it is unfair to use broad strokes to paint all police and social workers as power hungry. This situation has become a pissing contest and both sides are flexing their muscles and waving the flag. The ones lost in the struggle are the children. The parents send the children out after being picked up already to show the police that nobody tells them how to raise their children. The police pick the children up to show the parents that they think this is unsafe. It will only escalate. Why not teach the children about conflict resolution, negotiation skills and compromise. Those are life lessons that the world do sperate

  133. Carole April 14, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    Read all of the comments. They all sound great until it’s your own child that doesn’t come home. The same people you hate now will be the ones looking ceaselessly for them. The police see the dark side of our cities daily. Places we think are 1950’s save may not be. There are many ways to teach independance that don’t require solo trips. I have also met some pushy public servants. I feel it is unfair to use broad strokes to paint all police and social workers as power hungry. This situation has become a pissing contest and both sides are flexing their muscles and waving the flag. The ones lost in the struggle are the children. The parents send the children out after being picked up already to show the police that nobody tells them how to raise their children. The police pick the children up to show the parents that they think this is unsafe. It will only escalate. Why not teach the children about conflict resolution, negotiation skills and compromise. Those are life lessons that the world desperately needs now. It is time to walk in the other guys shoes and find reason instead of creating more chaos. Start talking with each other, not at each other.

  134. Wow... April 14, 2015 at 8:02 am #

    @Carole: Look, sometimes you have to take a chance. And sometimes, it will be your child. You are perfectly allowed to be distraught at how horribly unlucky you are. And it is bad luck, nothing more. People buy a lottery ticket despite it being vastly unlikely that they’ll win. You’re allowed to celebrate but it was still just luck and maybe a bit of knowing psychology.

  135. Donna April 14, 2015 at 8:39 am #

    The police say that they held the children in the police car where they found them for 2 hours – from 5 to 7. The Meitiv’s say that they started looking for the children shortly after 6 but never found them. The only way that it is possible for both these things to be true is if the kids were not where they were supposed to be and were someplace that their parents would not think immediately to look for them. Otherwise, the parents would have seen the police and the children at the park when they went to find them. So where were the children? Or is someone lying?

  136. Jane April 14, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    Grew up in England in the 1950’s. At age 6, I would walk home from school down a country lane. Roamed fields with friends. At 8-9 played outside with friends and, as long as parents knew where we were, we pretty much roamed free. At 10-11 I took responsibility for my younger brother as we walked home from school together. Not so many people had cars back then. Few people I knew had TV. No paranoia. You just didn’t hear about kids going missing. The world of my childhood felt safe. Is it the sme now? With a steady source of violence from TV and video games? More ‘mentally disturbed’ people on the streets? More accessibility to mind altering drugs? I hitchhiked alone as a college student. If I was a college student now, I would not do so. My kids walked home from school alone in our small town country area. Would I have let them do so in a city? Probably not. Regardless, I do not think the police have the right to hold children without letting parents know. That is appalling. Clearly this has become a power struggle between adults and I think that is very unhealthy for kids!

  137. Warren April 14, 2015 at 9:44 am #


    They are not babies. That is where you moms get so screwed up. The are school age kids, not BABIES.

  138. lollipoplover April 14, 2015 at 9:45 am #

    @Carole- “It is time to walk in the other guys shoes..”

    Except they can’t walk. They are legally kidnapping these kids.
    The police ARE the stranger danger.

  139. Warren April 14, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    I thought about that as well.
    One thing that does not ring true with the cops version, is sitting at the scene for two hours. There is no reason to remain at the scene for two hours. If they try to use the excuse that they were waiting for parents to show up, that could have been resolved in the first hour with a phone call. If they were waiting for instructions from cps, they still would not have waited at the scene. There is no logic for them to remain at the scene for that amount of time.

    And even if the kids had strayed from their original plans, they were not expected home for almost an hour after the cops picked them up. Being somewhere other than the park should not be illegal in any country, nor should it be cause to attack a family.

  140. Donna April 14, 2015 at 11:10 am #


    I don’t think anything I can think of justifies the police action. It was just a curious inconsistency in everyone’s version of events.

    If the kids were not at the park, it does open up the consideration that they were someplace actually dangerous and the call to the police was reasonable. That doesn’t mean that I believe that the police should have called CPS and kept them for hours. The proper response would have been to pick them up, take them home and let the parents deal with whatever it was they were doing as a parenting issue.

  141. Anna April 14, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    Donna & Warren: If I had to guess, my money is on the policeman being the one who is bending the truth (to put it kindly!). As we know from recent widely-circulated videos, falsified police incident reports can happen, and in this case, the cop would likely count on nobody taking a 10-year-old’s word against his.

  142. Jason April 14, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    Kids living in third world police states are taught to not trust the police and to run when you see them. My wife grew up in communist China under Uncle Mao. Her dad spent time in jail because he was accused of being a capitalist. She said they were not this nutzo about watching your kids. 5 year olds being handcuffed, free range parents getting arrested, etc. Do you see a problem Amerika? Do you want to live in the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany because this is what we are going to get. I love my free range kid!

  143. flek April 14, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    Absolute control by the ‘tribe’ is america’s biggest problem.

    This is a symptom of communist rule, and the ‘tribe’ invented that.

    Welcome to Ameristine. Get used to the abuse, you were warned for years and ignored it.


  144. Warren April 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm #


    One commentor elsewhere, claims to be the wife of a DC cop. Apparently, DC cops in this instance, because no signs of neglect or abuse were present, are supposed to watch the kids while they walk home, after talking with the kids. Least intrusive response, is how it was put.

    So I am wondering if the police had orders to detain these specific kids, so cps could escalate.

  145. Donna April 14, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    Warren – Silver Springs may touch DC, but it is a completely different governmental entity. It could be that these cops were gunning for these particular kids or that Maryland cops have different marching orders. My guess is the latter since the cops also picked up the kids and called CPS the first time. This being the second time called for increased action in their mind, but there is clearly a general view that kids out wandering alone require intervention.

    It does seem to fit my hypothesis that these types of things are rarer in cities where cops and CPS have more legitimate problems than they can handle than in the burbs where things are slower.

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  147. Erika Doring April 14, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    Having fought my ordeal in court- and clearly won, I encourage all to write the Police chief (an elected official) and the district attorney (also Elected). If the addresses and names can be provided those living in the district can voice their opinion and experience on this issue. A 100, even 1000 letters of anger over the wrong intervention and violation of civil rights when addressing this case can put the police on notice. We have to be willing to utilize the legal process and vote on these issues to make changes.

  148. RedRedMane April 15, 2015 at 3:42 am #

    Our nation’s schools are now about to get a whole lot “meaner” YET! A new law just went into effect! The way it works is unfortunately this: If your child misbehaves in any way, school officials and the authorities will have the ability to “assume the worst”, and place that child of yours in either FOSER CARE or JUVENILE CORRECTIONS!!! If they think that a kid has “mental illness”, they will have the ability to have him or her CHECKED INTO A MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY!!! Now if that “sounds good” to you, you need to have your HEAD examined!!! No joke…”Google” it! What kind of behavior are they going to “target?” 1. Truancy! 2. Tardiness! 3. Poor grades in schoo! !!! 4. Disruptive behavior! 5. Mere “inappropriate” behavior! 5. Fighting! 6. Inappropriate touching – we’re talking kissig, hugging, or holding hands! Even “putting an arm around” a fellow classmate will apply!!! 7. In certain states, they will confiscate your child if he or she tries to bring his or her iPhone or iPad to school! 8. Back-talk! This would include complaining, badmouthing, or threatening to “tell the parents!” Telling the cops would do no good – they are “part of the program!!!” 9. Drawing controversial images! Pictures of gunfights, pictures of people “kissig”, and religion-based drawings as they may be “offensive” to some! For these “offenses”, according to this new terrible legislation, school officials will have the sheer raw POWER to contact the authorities and have your child ( or kids ) TAKEN AWAY from you!!!
    STAND UP AND “FIGHT” this before they find some excuse to take YOUR kids away from you!!!

  149. RedRedMane April 15, 2015 at 4:03 am #

    What does all this “draconianism” have to do with kids roaming freely around town? A LOT! You see, law enforcement is already “gearing up” to take this insanely punitive school-based child safety program TO THE STREETS!!! So it isn’t like our kids will be abled to “relax” when school gets out!!!!

  150. Vicki Bradley April 15, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    I love reading Beth’s, Warren’s and Paul’s insightful comments – Violet Weed, Barbara and MR, not so much.

    P.S. I donated to the Metiivs so they can fight this madness.

  151. Chuck99 April 15, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    It sounds to me as if these police officers should be charged both for kidnapping and for leaving the kids in the back of their car. The only way this kind of thing will stop is if the people who do it are held responsible.

  152. minnie April 15, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

    do you have your papers, comrade? talk about big brother! this is 2015, not 1984

  153. Amy April 16, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    As a kid I ran around from sun up til sun down outside. We climbed trees fished skated explored … The bad guys run free and the kids are held hostage. The police held those kids for hours without telling thier parents . That s kid napping in my book. Some one in the community has it out for the parents and the cops held the kids to scare the parents . That’s illegal.