Maryland “free range” children have been seized by Child Protection Services officials. Rafi Meitiv, 10, and Dvora Meitiv, 6, made national headlines in December when a police officer stopped them while walking alone to a local partk. Parents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are self-described “free range parents” and have stood by their decision to permit the children walk around their neighborhood unsupervised.
Alexander and Danielle Meitiv, both scientists, told Maryland police that they feel free range parenting encourages “independence from infancy.” On Sunday, the free range kids were taken into police custody after they were once again “found wandering” around a park on their own. Local police officers had reportedly issued multiple warnings to the Maryland parents about allowing their children to leave the home unsupervised.
The Maryland free range parents were found guilty on child neglect charges in March, but reportedly refused to alter their parenting style. Child Protection Servics (CPS) officials found that Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were guilty of “unsubstantiated” child neglect. Danielle Meitiv stated that she and her husband routinely allow their children to walk alone in the city “to build confidence.”
Danielle Meitiv had something to say about the free range parenting child neglect charges during an interview prior to the state of Maryland seizing custody of Rafi and Dvora.
“We don’t feel it was appropriate for an investigation to start, much less conclude that we are responsible for some form of child neglect. We’re just doing what our parents did. It was considered perfectly normal just one generation ago. We don’t know if we will get caught in this Kafkaesque loop again.”
Unsubstantiated child neglect is not a criminal charge, but is in most cases is reportedly a prelude to them. This type of child neglect charge typically occurs when the CPS has reportedly deemed parents to have neglected their children, but has insufficient information or witnesses to press charges or take action.
Typically, Alexander Meitiv and his wife have their kids carry a card that reads “I’m not lost. I’m a free range kid,” but they left them behind that day when they went to the park and were stopped by the police officer.
When Refi Meitiv was asked about being a free range kid and about the police officer stopping him at the park, he said, “Well I’ve walked home from school before. Not with my sister, but I’ve done it alone. We walked around the block a lot and we walk home from another park which is just around the block.”
What do you think about free range parenting and Maryland officials seizing custody of the Meitiv children?
[Image via: Facebook]