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.”
(Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:38AM
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
I hate to respond to ACs, let alone moderate them, but this one got an 'interesting' from me as it's rings true.
Relationship status: Available for curbside pickup.
(Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @04:05AM
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
(Score: 2) by art guerrilla on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:23AM
...and it is very important the trains run on time, amirite ? ? ?
(Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday March 10 2015, @02:55PM
(Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @01:50PM
> 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
(Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:19AM
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
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
grr -- proofreading.
p1s1: s/for\ as/as\ an/