Parents Investigated For Neglect After Letting Kids Go For A Walk

A big part of the reason why I don’t want to have kids is that I think that this is probably one of the most dull times in history to be a kid. I look at those plastic playgrounds with only those diaper-looking swings, and no merry go-rounds or see-saws or legit slides (sorry, but your four-foot high plastic slide is a slide made of lies) and I feel deeply sad. I look at kids going trick-or-treating, with their parents, at three in the afternoon and I just want to give up on the world altogether.

To be perfectly frank, the idea of living amongst people raised in this manner fills me with absolute dread and despair. There is no question in my mind that these children, once adults, will be exquisitely intolerable. In 20 years we will be living in a nation of gluten-free Taylor Swifts, and that is a terrifying thought.

I’m deeply confused by the way things are now for children, but I didn’t quite realize the extent of it all until today, when I found out that some parents in Washington, D.C. were being investigated for neglect for letting their 10-year-old and six-year-old children take a walk together.

On December 20th, parents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv allowed their kids Rafi and Dvora walk from a park back to their home on their own–about a one mile walk, which they were familiar with. Half way through this walk, the kids were pulled over by police who had been alerted by, I assume, Gladys Kravitz, and taken home. The family is now the subject of a full-on investigation by Child Protective Services.

Meanwhile, somewhere, there is a kid who is actually being neglected or abused somewhere, and the schools and police and CPS are doing nothing. But godforbid some kids take a walk. In broad daylight. Before the street lights are even on.

Via Washington Post:

Alexander said he had a tense time with police on Dec. 20 when officers returned his children, asked for his identification and told him about the dangers of the world.

The more lasting issue has been with Montgomery County Child Protective Services, he said, which showed up a couple of hours after the police left.

Mary Anderson, a spokeswoman for CPS, said she could not comment on cases but that neglect investigations typically focus on questions of whether there has been a failure to provide proper care and supervision.

In such investigations, she said, CPS may look for guidance to a state law about leaving children unattended, which says children younger than 8 must be left with a reliable person who is at least 13 years old. The law covers dwellings, enclosures and vehicles.

Seriously? I babysat my sister when I was 12 and started babysitting for neighbors around that age as well. And I was pretty good at it too!

Apparently, letting your kids go for a walk is so unusual now that these parents have actually given their kids laminated cards that say “I am not lost, I am a free-range child.” What do kids even do now? Are they allowed to ride bikes? At what age is one now “allowed” to take a walk to the park or to get ice cream or whatever? What do they do in the summer? Do they have to wait to go outside until there’s an adult around to “supervise?”

The Meitivs say that on Dec. 20, a CPS worker required Alexander to sign a safety plan pledging he would not leave his children unsupervised until the following Monday, when CPS would follow up. At first he refused, saying he needed to talk to a lawyer, his wife said, but changed his mind when he was told his children would be removed if he did not comply.

Following the holidays, the family said, CPS called again, saying the agency needed to inquire further and visit the family’s home. Danielle said she resisted.

“It seemed such a huge violation of privacy to examine my house because my kids were walking home,” she said.

This week, a CPS social worker showed up at her door, she said. She did not let him in. She said she was stunned to later learn from the principal that her children were interviewed at school.

The family has a meeting set for next week at CPS offices in Rockville.

This is seriously one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of in my life. Personally, I think it’s probably more damaging to a child’s development to not allow them any kind of independence. I get that the world is “scary” and that there are “dangers” out there, but sheltering kids to the point where they can’t even take a walk by themselves is going a little far.