A couple from Maryland have again hit headlines after police officers picked up their children and took them to the CPS as they played unattended in a local park.
The incident is a repeat of a previous run in with the authorities in December, which led to the parents, Danielle and Sasha Meitiv, being charged with “unsubstantiated child neglect” after they allowed their 10-year-old and 6-year old to walk home one mile from the playground.
This time around, a busy body neighbor called police to say that two unattended children were walking along the sidewalk at 5pm in Silver Spring on Sunday.
The kids were on their way home, after the Meitivs expressly asked them to be back before 6pm.
The couple, and their 10-year-old boy, told reporters that police said they were going to take the kids home, but in reality kept them in a patrol car for close to two hours before taking them to CPS in Rockville.
At no point during the ordeal did anyone contact the parents, who went out to search for the children . Finally, at 8pm, the parents were asked to pay a visit to CPS.
“I can’t believe we’re going through this again,” Danielle Meitiv said. “They’ve been missing since 6 o’clock. Somebody called 911, the police called CPS, they decided to bring the kids here and they didn’t call us.”
“We asked them why did they not bring them home,” Sasha Meitiv said. “They just said, ‘We decided the safety of the children was more important.’ “
It wasn’t until 10.30pm that the Meitivs were reunited with their kids. CPS officials refused to give any information on what was happening, according to the couple.
Police say that an investigation is underway, with the intention of once again bringing charges against the parents.
Meanwhile, the Meitivs were forced to sign a “safety plan” prohibiting them from leaving their children unattended.
“I’m not going to risk my kids being snatched again by CPS,” Danielle Meitiv said. “If they had let our kids go home, they would have been in bed two hours ago.”
The Meitivs have described their attitude toward letting their kids play unattended as “free range parenting”. Of course, to anyone with any common sense, this simply means encouraging trust by letting kids play and discover their independence.
In the modern day United States, however, where society is governed by morbid fear, neighbors and onlookers consider it their duty to inform ‘the authorities’ whenever they see something outside of that system of fear based control.
The Meitivs are not irresponsible parents. They are a healthy middle class family. Danielle Meitiv is a science consultant and writer, and her husband, Alexander Meitiv is a physicist at the National Institute of Health.
The couple are in teh midst of appealing the previous neglect charge in an effort to expunge the record, although Sandra Barnes, an assistant attorney general in the Maryland Department of Human Resources, said that such a move could lead to the charge being escalated to an “indicated” case of child neglect.
“I absolutely am nervous, and that’s why we have to fight this,” said Danielle in March. “What happens the next time? I refuse to be bullied into this, ‘We know this is right and healthy for our kids, but we’re going to keep them home because we’re scared of CPS?’ That’s just insane. That’s why we have to fight it.”
Meitiv’s situation is becoming an increasingly common occurrence as parents are threatened for letting their children engage in activity once considered normal.
A Texas mother of three was visited by police and CPS just last September after a neighbor complained about her son playing alone less than 150 yards from his front porch.
“She asked my 12 year old if he had ever done drugs or alcohol. She asked my 8-year-old daughter if she had ever seen movies with people’s private parts, so my daughter, who didn’t know that things like that exist, does now,” the mother said. “Thank you, CPS.”
In late July a Florida mother was charged with child neglect after allowing her 7-year old to play in a neighborhood park as well despite no law defining how old a child must be to play alone.
That same month a mother in South Carolina was charged with neglect after neighbors spotted her child playing alone in a park. The 9-year-old girl was taken into state custody as the mother was thrown in jail.
Although child abduction rates continue to drop every year, parents are having to second guess every decision for fear of child abduction from the state.
Despite statements from the CPS, children in state custody are 10 times more likely to be abused and 600 percent more likely to be tortured, neglected and murdered than a child living with his or her parents.
Cases such as this, and many others like them, emphasize how parents are increasingly being treated with suspicion merely for allowing their kids to be independent to a limited extent. A similar circumstance leading to a CPS investigation would have been unheard of 20 years ago.
Such incidents dovetail with media PR campaigns about how children to longer belong to their parents, but to the “community” and the state.
“We have to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families,” said MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry during a 2013 promotional campaign which argued for more public money to be used for government education.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.