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posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 10 2015, @03:32AM   Printer-friendly
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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  • (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?

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  • (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) 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.

        • (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) 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.