Maryland Finds 'Free Range' Children At Park, Throws Them In Baby Jail
You might remember that back in January we had a story about these nice parents -- actually nice nice, not Wonkette "they seem nice" nice -- in Silver Spring, Maryland, who were investigated for "neglect" for the offense of allowing their 10-year-old son and his 6-year-old sister to walk around their neighborhood unsupervised in December 2014. Some concerned busybody called Child Protective Services, and the parents, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, got a stern warning that Maryland is apparently not friendly to "free range" kids, not even if the kids were in no actual danger other than perhaps being pooped upon by birds. At the time, the Meitivs were given a good talking-to, told they would have to agree not to let their kids roam free for the rest of that weekend, and that was supposedly that.
Guess who's been letting their children experience too much freedom again? On Sunday, the Meitiv children were seen playing in a park near their home, a helpful stranger called the cops, and CPS came and took the kids into custody again. Only this time, the Meitivs were in BIG TROUBLE, because thanks to that earlier call -- which Montgomery County CPS categorized as “unsubstantiated” child neglect -- the agency has to keep a file on the family for five years. And now, they have committed a second instance of allowing kids to play unsupervised in a perfectly safe place. Seriously, not a heroin needle or loaded pistol in the whole park (loaded pistols, by the way, are SAFE).
Not that the Meitivs knew their kids had been picked up again. This time, CPS took its sweet time in contacting them:
Danielle Meitiv told MyFoxDC that she and her husband were driving around looking for their children when they did not return home at the agreed upon time of 6.30pm. She said CPS did not contact the parents until about 8pm and the family was reunited around 10.30pm.
Meitiv said the initial incident provoked nightmares in her kids, who were distressed by their experience with the police. “The only people who have threatened to abduct my kids are the Child Protective Services,” she told the Guardian last month.
Look, Montgomery County CPS: we know that protecting kids is important. We know that there are lots of genuinely terrible, horribly abusive parents out there. Some are even State Legislators. The Meitivs are not those parents, and their kids do not belong in baby jail. Don't make us start marching around with Gadsden flags, because they'd really clash with our tie-dyed shirts and Birkenstocks.
The family has been reunited, after the Meitivs signed a "safety plan" promising to not leave their kids unattended -- for how long, god only knows; maybe until they're 16 and can drive everywhere like Real Americans are supposed to.
Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. For some reason, this story takes him back to a Ray Bradbury story he read back in high school, not long after the time when dinosaurs and ten-year-olds still roamed the earth freely
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.