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SILVER SPRING, Md. - A couple in Maryland is being investigated for child neglect after letting their 10-year-old-son and 6-year-old daughter walk home together from the park without adult supervision.
The distance of the walk is approximately one mile.
But the children made it only about halfway home before they were stopped by police, according to a Washington Post report. A concerned citizen informed police about the unattended children.
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv claim to be proponents of “free-range parenting,” a style of parenting that counters the micromanaging “helicopter” form of parenting that has become increasingly popular. Danielle Meitiv said the world is safer than when she was a child, and by allowing children to have a certain level of freedom and independence, they learn the critical skills of responsibility and self-reliance.
Local authorities feel differently. State law requires children younger than 8 to be accompanied by a reliable person at least 13 years of age.
Alexander Meitiv said he had a tense time with the police officers who brought the children home. Soon afterward, Montgomery County Child Protective Services officials showed up at the family’s home. The agency required the parents to sign a safety pledge vowing not to leave their children unsupervised. If they refused, their children would be removed from the home.
The Meitivs complied, but refused the agency's request to examine their home. Officials interviewed the children about the incident while they were at school. The family has a meeting at the CPS office next week.