In what sort of place are children taken from their parents, or parents investigated by the authorities with that in mind, because they allowed their 10- and 6-year-olds to walk to a park to play?
Not a forced 20-mile march across Death Valley, mind you, but a Saturday stroll of less than a mile under normal earth conditions.
What sort of place? These United States — Silver Spring, Maryland, to be specific.
That’s where Danielle and Alexander Meitiv’s two kids, Rafi and Dvora, were picked up by police, on their way home from a neighborhood park.
A two-month Montgomery County Child Protective Services (MCCPS) investigation followed. Now, there’s no law against youngsters walking in public by themselves. Local public schools don’t provide bus service for kids within a mile of the school, deeming that close enough to walk. Nevertheless, this week, authorities announced that the Meitivs were “found responsible” for “unsubstantiated child neglect.”
The good news is that the neglect charge is completely “unsubstantiated.” The bad news is that official “Free State” busybodies seem to have not one clue as to what that word means.
MCCPS will keep a file on the suspicious family for five years. “We don’t know if we will get caught in this Kafkaesque loop again,” says Mrs. Meitiv, noting that the agency left unanswered the question of what might happen if they ever again dare allow their kids to walk outside the house without adult supervision.
The family is appealing the nonsensical MCCPS “finding.” In the meantime, the Meitiv children will continue to walk in public as if it’s a free country.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.