Free-Range Parents Guilty of ‘Unsubstantiated’ Child Neglect for Letting Kids Walk Alone

The Maryland parents who made national headlines in January for letting their 6- and 10-year-old children walk the neighborhood without an adult have been accused of “unsubstantiated” child neglect following an investigation by Montgomery County Child Protective Services.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, who consider themselves “free-range” parents, say they plan to appeal the decision, The Washington Post reported.

“Free-range” parenting is a growing movement that focuses on self-reliance and allows children to learn at an early age how to make decisions for themselves.

Rafi, 10, and his sister, Dvora, 6, are typically allowed to walk to the two Silver Spring playgrounds near their house, to a nearby 7-Eleven for snacks or to a public library about three-quarters of a mile away from home, the parents said. But on Dec. 20, police officers picked them up after receiving a report on unattended children in the area, leading to a two-month investigation into the Meitivs’ lives.