Tuesday, January 20, 2015

When Parents Are Criminalized: Couple In Trouble for Letting Their Kids Walk Unsupervised

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/maryland-parents-legal-trouble-letting-their-kids-walk-alone

Authorities tell parents they may lose their kids; tell kids a stranger will grab them.

By Cliff Weathers January 15, 2015

A Maryland couple is in trouble with law authorities because they let their kids walk around the neighborhood without hovering over them.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say that their neighbors have called the local police and Child Protective Services because their children, ages 10 and 6, have been spotted walking to two area playgrounds without adult supervision. One playground is a mile away from the Meitiv’s home in Silver Springs, while the other is just two blocks down.

In a letter to Reason.com, Danielle Meitiv recalls a December 20 incident involving the police:
"On a Saturday afternoon in December, my husband, Alexander, gave our kids permission to walk home from the local playground. I was out of town at the time. When they'd walked about halfway, a Montgomery County Police patrol car pulled up. A 'helpful' neighbor had called 911 to report unaccompanied children walking outside. Our kids were brought home in a police cruiser.
At the door the police officer asked to see my husband's ID, but did not explain why.
When he refused, she called for backup.
A total of six patrol cars showed up."
The Meitivs say that law enforcement authorities and social services representatives have questioned their children while at school, and without their knowledge or consent and that the investigation infringes on their rights as parents to raise their children in a manner that they see fit. The parents also say the authorities asked their 10-year-old son what he would do if seized by a strange adult. According to Alexander Meitiv, they told his son that “there are creeps out there that are just waiting to grab children if they're walking by themselves.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/maryland-parents-legal-trouble-letting-their-kids-walk-alone

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