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: 3, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday March 10 2015, @02:31PM
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
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
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.