Danielle Meitiv believes in letting her two children, Rafi, 10, and Dvora, 6, play outdoors without adult supervision.
And despite a recent investigation into her parenting by Maryland authorities for child neglect, which has garnered national attention, Meitiv has no plans to become a so-called helicopter parent and monitor her children at all times.
“I’m not going to change my parenting based on their intimidation,” she told Mashable. “I would be a terrible parent if I showed my children that you back down in the face of bullying.”
The family’s first encounter with the Montgomery County Child Protective Services was last November when someone noticed Rafi and Dvora playing alone at a park near their Silver Springs, Maryland, home and called the authorities. The children returned unharmed, but a few days later CPS arrived to interview Meitiv about why they were left unattended.
The matter resolved quickly — until another bystander saw the children walking a mile home along a busy street in December and also called the police.
CPS subsequently investigated Danielle and her husband Alexander, and the Meitivs made the agency’s decision public this week: They are responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect.
The “unsubstantiated” finding means there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the Meitivs were either guilty or innocent of child neglect. It also means that the CPS file on the Meitivs will remain open for five years. The Meitivs retained a lawyer and plan to appeal the finding.
An official declined to comment on the case to The Washington Post, citing confidentiality requirements.
Meitiv said CPS officials justified their finding by pointing to a state law requiring that a child under the age of eight left home alone must be in the care of a person who is at least 13 years old. The law makes no mention of age requirements when children are outside of the home.
SOURCE: Rebecca Ruiz