Would you call police to report free-range parenting?
If you saw two kids (let’s just say they’re 10 and 6) walking on a sidewalk by themselves, or playing at a park with no adults in sight, what would you do? Would you ask them where their parents are? Would you keep an eye on them but not say anything? Keep on walking? Call the police?
Someone in Maryland chose the last option on Sunday, calling police to say there were two kids alone at a park. So the police responded, put them in a squad car for hours and then turned them over to Child Protective Services before their frantic parents were reunited with them, according to the Washington Post.
It wasn’t the first run-in with the law for the Meitiv family over “free-range parenting.” Their previous transgression of letting their children walk home alone from a park led to a court finding of “unsubstantiated child neglect.”
There’s much debate over how much freedom is too much for young kids, and how old they should be to play away from our supervision. But at what point should we start policing other parents? Here’s the police report and comment from the family’s lawyers (hat-tip to Free-Range Kids). The Meitiv family just announced plans to file a lawsuit following the ordeal.