Maryland

“Free Range” Parents Cleared of Child Neglect in 1 Case

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Veronica Speck

A Maryland couple investigated for neglect after letting their two young children walk home alone from local parks have been cleared in one of two such cases, their attorney said in a statement Tuesday. 

Child Protective Services (CPS) began an investigation into Danielle and Alexander Meitiv back in December after a police officer stopped the couple's children, ages 6 and 10, about halfway through a mile walk home in Silver Spring.

The family has said they're responsible parents who are teaching their children self-reliance and responsibility. The parenting style has been labeled "free-range."

Their attorney, Matthew Dowd, says CPS has "ruled out" any charges of child neglect in that case. 

But the Meitivs remain under investigation for neglect related to their a second incident, as the children walked home from another park April 12. The children were held by police and Child Protective Services for more than five hours that day.

"The county officials' actions were a completely unnecessary overreach into the personal lives of the Meitivs," Dowd said. "Unfortunately, the children and their parents have suffered from the actions of county officials."

The suburban Washington, D.C., parents have been investigated three times since October. The parents were not charged in the earliest such incident.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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