Two children playing in a park without an adult snatched by police

Two children from Montgomery County, MD who were the subject of controversy last year when their parents let them walk home alone from school were snatched off the street by police on Sunday and handed over the child services for playing alone in a park near their home.

The criminal parents, unaware that their children were taken by the state, became frantic when the kids didn't come home as expected at 6:00 PM and initiated a search for them.  Authorities didn't get around to calling the parents until 8:00 PM.

Washington Post:

“We have been searching for the kids for hours,’’ the mother said in a Facebook posting. They learned of the children’s whereabouts about 8 p.m. The mother said they later spent about a half-hour at the CPS offices in Rockville without being allowed to see them.

Starks said police were dispatched after a stranger saw the unaccompanied children in the park near Fenton and Easley streets. He said police took the children to the CPS office.

No charges had been placed, Starks said, and the matter remained under investigation.

After CPS investigated the earlier incident, the Meitivs were notified that afinding of “unsubstantiated neglect” had been made. That is one of three findings that can be made in neglect investigations. The others are “ruled out” and “indicated.”

An official said that the “unsubstantiated” finding is typically made when CPS has some information supporting a conclusion of child neglect, when seemingly credible reports are at odds with each other or when there is insufficient information for a more definitive conclusion.

The Meitivs’ case prompted debate about responsible parenting, child safety and the government’s role. The couple takes the view that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to make choices and progressively experience the world on their own.

The boy and girl are 10 and 6, respectively.  I recall that at age 10, I was riding my bike all over the Chicago suburb where I grew up, although I was not allowed to cross the busy state highway that ran near our house.  My brothers and I – one a year older, one a year younger – would routinely walk or bike to the park about six blocks from our home.  The thought of one of our parents coming with us was absurd. 

What has gotten into people that 1) they feel the need to tattle on other parents who have different ideas of raising their kids and 2) the police have to be called whenever some busybody wants to interfere in other people's lives?

Whoever called in the "crime" of allowing kids to grow up should go to jail him- or herself.  A few cases like that will stop this nonsense before other parents are caught up in the Child Protective Services meat grinder. 

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