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Child Neglect Charges Against ‘Free Range’ Parents Dropped

Charges against Maryland parents who allowed their children to walk home from a park alone have been dropped by Child Protective Services.

It is the second neglect case filed against Silver Spring residents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, known as “free-range” parents for their style of parenting which believes in giving children more freedom to make choices without parents hovering nearby. The charges were dropped earlier this month, the Meitivs told local media on Tuesday.

The couple’s children, ages 10 and 6, were picked up in April by police a few blocks from their Silver Spring home. They were walking home from playing in a local park and taken to Child Protective Services, where they were held for several hours and not permitted to call their parents.

In December the children were picked up by police in a park near their home, leading to neglect charges against the Meitivs. Those charges also were dropped.

Danielle Meitiv told the Washington Post she is concerned about how Child Protective Services will deal with the family in the future.

“I feel like we won’t know for sure if real progress has been made until our kids go for a walk and come home safely without being bothered,” she said.

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