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posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:32AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the protection-or-interference? dept.

We previously reported on the parents in Maryland who were being investigated for neglect after letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter make a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. Now the Washington Post that after a two-month investigation the Montgomery County Child Protective Services has found the parents responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect in a decision that has not fully resolved their clash with authorities over questions of parenting and children’s safety. "I think what CPS considered neglect, we felt was an essential part of growing up and maturing," said Alexander Meitiv. "We feel we're being bullied into a point of view about child-rearing that we strongly disagree with."

The finding of unsubstantiated child neglect means CPS will keep a file on the family for at least five years and leaves open the question of what would happen if the Meitiv children get reported again for walking without adult supervision. The parents say they will continue to allow their son, Rafi, 10, and daughter Dvora, 6, to play or walk together, and won’t be swayed by the CPS finding. “We don’t feel it was appropriate for an investigation to start, much less conclude that we are responsible for some form of child neglect,” says Danielle Meitiv, who said she and her husband plan to appeal and worry about being investigated again by CPS. “What will happen next time? We don’t know if we will get caught in this Kafkaesque loop again.” Asked how authorities would respond if the children were reported again for walking unsupervised, Paula Tolson, spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Human Resources, said CPS would become involved if a complaint was made about the safety of the children. In such cases, “if we get a call from law enforcement or from a citizen, we are required to investigate. Our goal is the safety of children, always.”

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Parents Investigated for Neglect for Letting Kids Walk Home Alone 127 comments

The WaPo reports that Danielle and Alexander Meitiv in Montgomery County Maryland say they are being investigated for neglect after letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter make a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. “We wouldn’t have let them do it if we didn’t think they were ready for it,” says Danielle. The Meitivs say they believe in “free-range” parenting, a movement that has been a counterpoint to the hyper-vigilance of “helicopter” parenting, with the idea that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to progressively test limits, make choices and venture out in the world. “The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood,” says Danielle. “I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”

On December. 20, Alexander agreed to let the children walk from Woodside Park to their home, a mile south, in an area the family says the children know well. Police picked up the children near the Discovery building, the family said, after someone reported seeing them. Alexander said he had a tense time with police when officers returned his children, asked for his identification and told him about the dangers of the world. The more lasting issue has been with Montgomery County Child Protective Services which showed up a couple of hours later. Although Child Protective Services could not address this specific case they did point to Maryland law, which defines child neglect as failure to provide proper care and supervision of a child. “I think what CPS considered neglect, we felt was an essential part of growing up and maturing,” says Alexander. “We feel we’re being bullied into a point of view about child-rearing that we strongly disagree with.”

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:38AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:38AM (#155240)

    I dunno what it really means, but from the outside looking in it sure looks like the organization trying to save face. This story got enough publicity that they might feel the need to avoid admitting error because someone could feel like their job/promotion is on the line due to the extra scrutiny. Possibly the cops' jobs since they were pretty egregious what with threatening to shoot daddy in front of his little girl.

    Hard to say if the publicity helped or hindered - if the stakes were lower for CPS they might have let sanity prevail and just let it go, or they might have really railroaded the family just because they could.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Snotnose on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:52AM

      by Snotnose (1623) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:52AM (#155246)

      I hate to respond to ACs, let alone moderate them, but this one got an 'interesting' from me as it's rings true.

      --
      Theiyr're - Take that grammar police.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:05AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:05AM (#155249)

        Are you aware that this comment elitism attitude of yours not only doesn't help this site, but it actually removes value?

        • (Score: 1, Disagree) by khallow on Tuesday March 10 2015, @07:13AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 10 2015, @07:13AM (#155297) Journal
          No, and you aren't aware of this either. There are advantages and disadvantages to allowing pure anonymous posting (as an "AC"), such as a greater tendency for the purely anonymous to become internet fuckwads [penny-arcade.com] and a greater likelihood that the AC poster will drop out of the thread because there is no natural way to keep track of threads where you post as an AC. I find it annoying when the sanctimonious choose to ignore those considerable disadvantages.
          • (Score: 2) by art guerrilla on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:23AM

            by art guerrilla (3082) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:23AM (#155336)

            ...and it is very important the trains run on time, amirite ? ? ?

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 10 2015, @02:55PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 10 2015, @02:55PM (#155437) Journal
              Because Big Brother is totally going to know who "art guerrilla" is.
          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:50PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:50PM (#155389)

            > There are advantages and disadvantages to allowing pure anonymous posting

            Which is one of the major reasons we have a moderation system.
            I find it annoying when the sanctimonious choose to ignore those considerable reasons.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @05:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @05:19PM (#155540)
          I actually disagree. If more people like him don't moderate ACs unless a particular post is really so interesting AND don't generally respond to ACs it's actually better for this site.

          I prefer fewer but higher quality posts than the huge amount of noise and redundant crap you get in the other site. Just go look at the comments on the more "popular" stories at the other site - you can throw >80% away and lose nothing of value. Over there I often get tired of wading through all the crap just to find a few gems of value.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:30AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:30AM (#155259)

        I love SN but I've only ever posted AC and intend to keep it that way. Gauge comments on their own merits, not who posted them, judgy.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tathra on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:58AM

        by tathra (3367) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:58AM (#155270)

        good comments should be modded up regardless of who posted them. the goal of moderation is not to give karma to your buddies or to 'reward' people for making good posts but to make quality posts more visible. the similar AC post is right, this kind of elitist attitude is detrimental to the site and to the community.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday March 10 2015, @07:08PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @07:08PM (#155612) Journal

          It's not elitism. That would imply high performance. It's rather nepotism.. the kind of environment where inbreeded ideas wreck the place eventually.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by jmorris on Tuesday March 10 2015, @06:13AM

      by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @06:13AM (#155284)

      Exactly correct, and it points to the solution. Change the incentives, change the behavior. The Legislature should quickly pass a joint resolution instructing CPS to change their attitude or the whole perverted thing will be burnt out with fire and rebuilt from scratch. Promise that would get a reaction.

      In the end you can't fix stupid, but you can fire it. While firing them from an improbably large cannon into the Sun would be amusing and somewhat gratifying, simply removing them from positions where they can harm children would be a good start.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:22AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:22AM (#155320) Journal

        Simply removing them from positions where they can harm children would be a good start, but the incentive structure for bureaucrats and politicians (heavily risk-averse, weighted toward avoiding offense and away from leadership or problem-solving) says that would never happen. So, oddly enough, firing them from an improbably large cannon into the Sun is a much more probable solution that expecting government to reform itself, or solve its stupidity.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday March 10 2015, @08:11PM

          by Freeman (732) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @08:11PM (#155667) Journal

          This was tried in sorts in France. It was called the French Revolution. That didn't work out so well for anyone involved. Unless your name was Napoleon Bonaparte. Though considering what he got in the end, I don't know about that.

          --
          "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:19AM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:19AM (#155318) Journal

      I think you've got this right. It's exactly how bureaucrats react in a situation like this. As many other posters have testified, it didn't used to be like this when we were kids. It's a long slide toward nonsense that's clear to anyone who's been alive long enough to recognize it. It has been paralleled by a decline in personal responsibility. It has the feel of a mathematical trend that will reach a local maximum, which I would model a la Asimov's psychohistory if I were a much better mathematician.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:24PM (#155451)

      I disagree. About 15 years ago, I was a young attorney working for as Assistant Attorney General in my state. One of my jobs was representing DSHS in review hearings that would happen periodically for parents who had had their kids taken away. It was a low level thing and pretty low stress in the sense that the judge basically never deviated from what the Guardian Ad Litem (a type of attorney/social worker who represented the child) suggested. It was a once per week, effortless half day cruise basically.

      The people who had lost their kids were by and large meth addicts, petty criminals, violent, etc. etc. Not all, but such a large percentage of them were that it was easy to become jaded very quickly. Today, I would be much less blase about the whole thing than I was back then because I've learned that people who deal with the same topic over and over, tend to become totally cynical. I think there is a very good chance that rather than trying to save face, the CPS people involved in this case here are just exercising that cynicism without even thinking about the ramifications. They're bitter, suspicious, and have had their decisions rubber stamped by the judiciary so many times, that they feel totally self-righteous in all that they do.

      Secondly, I would imagine that some of my experience in the AG's office would echo through many agencies. We would go to meetings and people would always hear speakers talk about how we were held to a higher standard, how so much was against us, how hard we worked for low pay, etc. etc. It was all horseshit -- some of the worst players I've met worked as state attorneys -- as in bald faced lie to the judge players. It's an absolute fact that judges look to the state's attorneys for answers, hold them to lower ethical and evidentiary standards, and to a large extent, try to pave the way to victory for the state. It's the little guy that must jump the highest bars. Obviously, it would have a different flavor in a CPS office, but I would be shocked if there was not a culture such as this: pat yourself on the back and say woe woe woe, hard work, low pay, no respect, higher standards, etc. etc. -- of course it's all BS. The work is easy, the pay with benefits is excellent, and all the rails are greased in favor of the agency.

      So, this is all to say that I suspect that CPS did what it wanted, and views the outcry as just more proof at how hard and thankless it is being them.

      ps: eventually I quit. It was the meetings mostly. I'm just not a good team player in the sense that I hate sitting around in endless meetings doing nothing but babbling and whining and call it work, but then, I grew up extremely free range.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:32PM (#155458)

        grr -- proofreading.
        p1s1: s/for\ as/as\ an/
        p3s3: s/people//

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snotnose on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:41AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:41AM (#155242)

    Had these rules been in place in the late '60s/early '70s, not only would I be in gitmo, my parents would be in some lower level prison.

    --
    Theiyr're - Take that grammar police.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by pkrasimirov on Tuesday March 10 2015, @06:16AM

      by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 10 2015, @06:16AM (#155286)

      Well, yeah, unfortunately USA cannot allow its citizens to grow free anymore. They tend to cause too much trouble and should be taught better.

      A favourite quote from the commie days in my country: "Who told you to think that way?!"

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by davester666 on Tuesday March 10 2015, @06:52AM

      by davester666 (155) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @06:52AM (#155292)

      But we totally would have been saved from 9/11. Never could have happened.

  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:49AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:49AM (#155244)

    Free-range parents... ?

    • (Score: 2) by arslan on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:14AM

      by arslan (3462) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:14AM (#155250)

      yea like the chickens dude...

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by NotSanguine on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:01AM

    When I was a child, I walked to and from school (yes, barefoot, through the snow, uphill both ways) by myself, played with my friends in the park, rode my bicycle on NYC streets, rode the subways and never had a problem.

    This was in the '70s, when NYC was a much more dangerous place than it is now.

    I had my bicycle stolen once -- my fault, I wasn't paying attention.

    I sampled the many playgrounds in both Central and Riverside Parks and found the ones I liked best.

    I tore up my legs pretty good more than once, trying to navigate the sharp curve of a hill on my skateboard.

    And my parents? They allowed me to take responsibility for myself at levels I was prepared for, and that made me stronger, more independent and confident in my own abilities.

    Punishing parents for trying to raise strong, independent, healthy kids is completely ridiculous. I weep for today's children. They are being placed at a disadvantage that will limit and harm them later in life.

    --
    No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:24AM (#155255)

      If you can't give them experience, at least you can prevent them from becoming narcissists. [pbs.org]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @07:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @07:29AM (#155299)

      Not only does the government seem to want to prevent the raising of strong, independent and healthy kids, it also thinks that it is its job to decide where children can go, at what times and how far. Maybe it's so that they become obedient adults who are more likely to accept the totalitarian state which is being built (not only in the US).

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:38AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:38AM (#155339) Journal

      Punishing parents for trying to raise strong, independent, healthy kids is completely ridiculous.

      No, it's not. Strong, independent, healthy are the opposite of the desirable traits of the future persons. They must be domesticated into being fearful, obedient/subservient and sickly (consumers in short), otherwise there's a good chance they'll pick up those pitchforks and torches [politico.com], a situation that the free market fairy can't deal with.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by redneckmother on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:29AM

    by redneckmother (3597) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:29AM (#155256)

    When I was younger ( 8 through 14 years), my school system didn't allow anyone who lived within 1.5 miles of the school to ride a bus - we had to arrange a ride from a neighbor, or (as I did), WALK.

    I used to get REALLY pissed off, as I watched a -mostly empty- school bus pass me ~100 yards from my house each afternoon.

    I was carrying ~ 30 pounds of books, my musical instrument, and (sometimes) a heavy coat that was necessary in the mornings.

    Bitter much? No, not me...

    Someone "allows" their child to walk for a bit? JeezUsPleaseUs - get a F***ing grip!

    --
    Mas cerveza por favor.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:59AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:59AM (#155271)

      I believe people dug that this is still the policy in the district where these people have now been cited for neglect. That is: It's in direct contradiction with the local school board requirements.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:34AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:34AM (#155260)

    Whats the tech angle?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @05:00AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @05:00AM (#155272)

      There isn't one, because SN isn't a tech site.

    • (Score: 2) by The Archon V2.0 on Tuesday March 10 2015, @08:30PM

      by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @08:30PM (#155675)

      Eighty-two degrees.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:54AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:54AM (#155269) Homepage Journal

    Children grow up someday, to become adults.

    I myself, when I was a child, was largely allowed to roam about freely, within certain limits. For example when I was three and four years old, I was told never to cross the street unless my sister or an adult was with me; but when I was five I was permitted to do so. Also when I was five, I lived on a mountain. Quite commonly I spent the whole day roaming about in the woods. I would go quite a long ways from home, but always I found my way back by suppertime.

    When I was eight or nine, my sister and I bicycled perhaps ten miles from home. My father happened upon us, driving the other way in his car. He shouted at us, shook his fist at us - then drove home. My sister and I returned home on our bicycles, at which time our father angrily shouted at us that we should not ride so far from home, as we might get lost, but other than that he did nothing to prevent us from doing so.

    At the time - when I was eight or nine - it was not uncommon that I would walk five miles from home just to buy candy, or to hang out at a recreation center for youth.

    I'm particularly fond of camping in the desert; I've been to Death Valley three times, Burning Man three times. Once I drove to Baja California del Sur. I also have the Boy Scout Wilderness Survival Merit Badge as well as such others as the First Aid Merit Badge.

    A couple of years ago, I was held involuntarily for ten days in a psychiatric hospital in Reno, Nevada because I happened to mention to a mental health professional that I intended to "go camping in the desert". Not being from Reno myself, I was completely unaware that "camping in the desert" is a local euphemism for committing suicide! The shrinks all seemed to regard my assertion that I have the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge as floridly delusional.

    Are you familiar with the term "comfort zone". Your comfort zone is, more or less, the range of activities that you are used to doing on a regular basis. For example it's common for slashbots and soylentils to point out that they never use Facebook; therefore, Facebook is not in your comfort zone.

    I have lived in, or visited many countries. I once walked roughly 200 miles from Santa Cruz, California, southwards through the Pajaro, Salinas and San Joaquin Valleys, for the most part living off the land - eating such things as prickly pears, and edible and nutritious cactus fruit.

    I have a close friend who never travels, doesn't leave his home very much, who is from monterey, california but has never visited santa cruz. He now lives in oregon but to the best of my knowledge he has never set foot in washington state, nor any other US state other than oregon or california. He's never been outside of the US.

    If we never permit our children to roam about freely, then as adults, they are unlikely to be adventurous enough to know how to defend themselves from an enemy.

    Consider my father, who also lived in the mountains as a child, was a boy scout &c. He knew wilderness survival as well, and served in vietnam. He knew how to live of the land as well, in the case of jungle survival, he would make hearts of palm salad by slaughtering innocent little baby palm trees with his government-issue bayonet.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @02:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @02:06PM (#155401)

      My wife was raised by helicopter parents.

      She can not even go out to eat without a 5 point itinerary and at a minimum of 3-4 day notice. The food preselected and restaurant preselected at least 2 days in advance. A pre planed departure time and return time.

      It drives me nuts. All I want to do is swing by the local burger place and grab something... Then afterwards maybe grab some ice cream depending on how I feel about it oh and maybe not get back until 11:30 (the horror). I dont require much.

      I had stopped pushing her out of her comfort zone because I got tired of the pouting sessions. You have reminded me I need to start again.

      Helicopter parents you are making life worse and less interesting.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by gnuman on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:34PM

        by gnuman (5013) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:34PM (#155506)

        My wife was raised by helicopter parents.
        She can not even go out to eat without a 5 point itinerary and at a minimum of 3-4 day notice.

        One does not follow the other. There are plenty of examples of people that need an itinerary to go to local Walmart. But then they turn around and go on vacation to Caribbean with 1 day notice. Phobias are not always results of helicopter parenting, but I can't imagine that they help either.

        Anyway, first step in combating phobias is acknowledging their existence. A professional could really help here.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:14AM (#155314)

    So who protects the children from CPS? After all, CPS tries to deny them a healthy childhood, thus harming them.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by francois.barbier on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:31AM

      by francois.barbier (651) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:31AM (#155337)

      Yup, and where is CPS when parents overfeed their already morbidly obese children?
      I mean, that is ACTUAL child neglect with health repercussion for the rest of their life!

      Our goal is the safety of children, always.

      ... as long as they can't move from the TV?

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Archon V2.0 on Tuesday March 10 2015, @08:28PM

        by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @08:28PM (#155674)

        > ... as long as they can't move from the TV?

        The television is good.

        Laugh at the comedies.

        Cry at the dramas.

        Agree with the attractive news-head about how it's all the fault of the Other Political Party.

        We now interrupt your show with a report on this grisly murder or missing attractive person.

        But we don't interrupt the commercials.

        Watch those too.

        The television is good.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hash14 on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:33AM

    by hash14 (1102) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:33AM (#155323)

    Alexander Meitiv was asked to sign a form saying he would not leave the children unsupervised until CPS followed up. When he resisted, saying he wanted to talk to a lawyer, he was told that if he did not sign, the children would be removed, the Meitivs said.

    In other words, if you seek legal recourse, we'll take away your children. That's a great way to coerce someone into agreeing with something. Now I suppose for the sake of pedantry/legal consistency, there's no law or constitutional provision explicitly guaranteeing a right to consult with an attorney in this case (correct me if I'm wrong!) but nevertheless, it's a great way to force people to OBEY without knowing what their rights are.

    Have they fixed the part of their anthem that goes, "land of the _free_ and the home of the _brave_" yet?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:22AM (#155334)

      Why should they fix that?

      Oh, you thought it was your land? Sorry, the land belongs to the rich and powerful. You're merely tolerated, as long as you behave.

    • (Score: 1) by BananaPhone on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:42PM

      by BananaPhone (2488) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:42PM (#155384)

      Here my idea:
      "In a land where people think they're free and are treated just like slaves"

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:47PM (#155388)

      > In other words, if you seek legal recourse, we'll take away your children.
      > it's a great way to force people to OBEY without knowing what their rights are.

      That sure sounds like duress and no contract signed under duress is legally enforceable.

      • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:59PM

        by quacking duck (1395) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:59PM (#155396)

        That sure sounds like duress and no contract signed under duress is legally enforceable.

        Not until after you've spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and wasted time in court to get that ruling.

        • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:26PM

          by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:26PM (#155453) Journal

          Not to mention that during the entire litigation process, your kids are getting raped, beaten, or starved to death in a foster home.

          --
          Pronouns: I/You/My (ex: He is a jerk: I is a jerk; It's him: It's you; His ideas suck: My ideas suck)
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @06:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @06:21PM (#155572)

            I'm not saying he shouldn't sign and get his kids.
            I'm saying he should sign it and then ignore it.

            Functionally, what difference does signing it make anyway?
            If he didn't sign it and for some reason they left the kids with him, anything he did to piss them off they would still take the kids.

            • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday March 10 2015, @08:07PM

              by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 10 2015, @08:07PM (#155665) Journal

              Now when he violates that agreement, they haul his kids off to be abused in foster care, and he gets to spend $100k and 3 years getting them back as ruined basket cases. That's what. Here and on /. people love all these theoretical legalisms.

              Look at it this way. What do you have to do when you are driving down the road and come up on a stop sign facing you?

              Most people immediately say "stop". Wrong. There is nothing about that sign that can make you do anything at all. You blow on by and it won't whip out a grenade launcher and blow you away. The stop sign is nothing but a social convention that if violated in the presence of a cop, will get you a ticket. This agency "has to" follow the law, "has to" follow the rules, they "can't" do that. Right. Just like a stop sign can't stop you, they can do whatever the hell they want, and some years down the line, after irreparable harm has been done and life savings drained, a judge somewhere _might_ say, yeah, they shouldn'ta done that and here, you can have your kids, such as they are, back. Best of luck on that civil suit, though in all probability, you will have waived your right to sue in settlement negotiations just to get your kids back. Even if not, good luck winning.

              --
              Pronouns: I/You/My (ex: He is a jerk: I is a jerk; It's him: It's you; His ideas suck: My ideas suck)
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday March 10 2015, @02:31PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @02:31PM (#155419) Journal

    We've become a more fearful society and it's a bit pathetic the way we've embraced security theater as much or more than real improvements in security.

    People want more insurance, and are suckers for extended warranties. The social climate has been conducive to revenue generation schemes disguised as safety, such as those red light cameras. I am constantly exhorted to lock doors, and turn on outdoor lights at night, because who knows what thieves and murderers might be out there just waiting for an opportunity. I keep asking, what if the house catches on fire, and we can't get out because we can't find the keys to the locked deadbolt locks? But that security question gets brushed aside, apparently it's the danger from burglars that matters. And what if one of these criminals is an arsonist? Fences are sold as both security and privacy measures, and many of these fence loving people just can't accept that a privacy fence lowers security by giving criminals excellent hiding places. I find the gated and fenced off apartment complex laughable. Another security product for suckers is the security lug nut to stop those thieves from stealing your rims.

    I am more afraid of CPS than of registered sex offenders. Those CPS people are so zealous and have entirely too much authority. Sure, there are cases where their intervention saved a child. But that shouldn't give them the power to trample upon our rights. That leaving a child in a car for one minute while you dash in and out of a store can be called "neglect" and grounds for having your child taken from you, and you being charged with all kinds of crimes, is plain crazy. It's the prison industrial complex going wild.

    Some have questioned the whole idea of a 911 emergency call system, asking if the money spent to maintain such a reactive service could be better utilized on proactive measures. But 911 is so ingrained now I can't see people ever giving that up. Remembering the times before "dial 911 " existed is now a mark of middle to old age.

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Wednesday March 11 2015, @03:22PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday March 11 2015, @03:22PM (#156106) Journal

      Some have questioned the whole idea of a 911 emergency call system, asking if the money spent to maintain such a reactive service could be better utilized on proactive measures. But 911 is so ingrained now I can't see people ever giving that up. Remembering the times before "dial 911 " existed is now a mark of middle to old age.

      a) That may work for police, but it doesn't sound like the best strategy for medical or fire. What does "more proactive measure" mean in that case? "I'm having a heart attack!" "Well...you should have eaten better. Good luck!" or "My house is on fire!" "Well, don't you have a sprinkler system?" ;) I mean yeah people dealt with these things forever long before 911 existed, but I don't think they were getting better results.

      b) Given their behavior lately, I'd much prefer the cops too stay in their damn station until they're called. The last thing we need is more thugs with machine guns and something to prove roaming the streets. If you want a neighborhood watch, set up a neighborhood watch. Importing goons from the next town over doesn't always work so well as the residents of Ferguson (and so many others) have discovered...

      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday March 11 2015, @09:27PM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday March 11 2015, @09:27PM (#156323) Journal

        More proactive means that for fire, we use less flammable materials. Make it so that many fires never happen. There are many, many things about housing that can be improved, and not using as much flammable termite food (aka wood) is only one. At least we have ditched some of the worst fire hazards, using gypsum wallboard now. For a brief time around 20 years ago, wooden shingles were popular, until a few fires broke out and spread to a lot more buildings than they would have if builders had stuck to other roofing materials.

        Medical care in the US has been badly run for decades. Rather than regular checkups and early treatment, many people are pushed into waiting until a medical problem becomes an emergency, and multiplies, because they can't get affordable care. Sure, there will still be accidents, broken bones, cut off fingertips, heart attacks, kidney stones, and other emergencies, but there's room for a great deal more prevention than we do now. On that, a big source of injuries are automobile accidents. We've made good progress in increasing automobile safety, but our highways are still a killing field.

        For police work, more respect and less uncritical love of guns would help. We've had many accidental fatalities from guns. They've certainly made the competition for food and sex more deadly.

        All this would reduce the need for emergency services. We'll never eliminate emergencies, but we certainly can reduce the numbers and odds, and often for less money than it costs to handle emergencies after they occur.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:57PM

    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:57PM (#155520)

    "Our goal is the safety of children, always."

    Always. Even at the expense of people's fundamental liberties and basic logic. That certainly doesn't sound like "the land of the free and the home of the brave" to me. Even if it were true that this sort of thing was a bit dangerous, I'll take freedom over safety and living in fear any day, and I find it disgusting that quite a few people actually disagree with me on such a basic principle.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by darkfeline on Tuesday March 10 2015, @05:53PM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @05:53PM (#155561) Homepage

    In a nutshell, the problem is pervasive social mistrust, that is to say, no one trusts anyone. Gun owners? They might be out for your blood. Government? Definitely out for your blood. Corporation? Out to exploit you for every drop of cash. Stranger? He's gonna rape your kids and steal your job. Gays? Blacks? Muslims? Women? Men?

    As I'm not a sociologist, I can't say what the causes are or what the solutions would be, but I would hazard a guess that the cause is capitalism, or the rather, the modern capitalist ideology. When you live in a dog-eat-dog world of perpetual competition, every man for himself, of course you can't trust anyone else. Everyone is waiting for you to slip up. Random acts of kindness, someone lending you a helping hand, just because? Nonsense!

    Of course, we haven't hit rock bottom yet, but it's just a matter of time.

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