(NaturalNews) Little by little and day by day, the Big Government nanny state encroaches further into the lives of ordinary Americans, inserting itself into decisions that were once the sole domain and purview of the individual.
This worsening trend is becoming especially prevalent in decisions that parents make on behalf of, and for, their own children. And the primary mechanism being used by states to usurp parental rights and control are child “protective” agencies.
The Robert Scott Bell Show, Natural News and a few others have stepped up reporting of such abuses, the latest of which occurred in Stalinist Montgomery County, Maryland, which is near Washington, D.C., where two parents are under investigation for the “crime” of letting their kids walk home.
As The Washington Post reported:
It was a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. But what the parents saw as a moment of independence for their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, they say authorities viewed much differently.
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say they are being investigated for neglect for the Dec. 20 trek — in a case they say reflects a clash of ideas about how safe the world is and whether parents are free to make their own choices about raising their children.
“We wouldn’t have let them do it if we didn’t think they were ready for it,” Danielle said.
“They have proven they are responsible“
So in other words, because a group of authoritarians at a state agency simply disagree with these parents, they have taken it upon themselves to punish them with an “investigation.”
Danielle went on to tell the Post that her son and daughter have paired up before and taken walks around the block to a nearby convenience store and to a library about three-quarters of a mile from their home.
“They have proven they are responsible,” she told the paper. “They’ve developed these skills.”
Both parents are believers in “free-range” parenting, which is a growing movement that runs counter to the overtly vigilant practice of “helicopter” parenting. The former helps children learn self-reliance and responsibility early by progressively allowing them to test and surpass limitations as they make choices and venture out into the world around them.
“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,” she said. “I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”
Police lectured them
With that in mind, on Dec. 20, Alexander said he agreed to allow his children, Rafi and Dvora, walk a mile home from Woodside Park, in an area that the parents said their kids already know well.
They got about halfway home before being intercepted by police after someone reported seeing them.
When the Post telephoned police to find out more, officials said they did not currently have much information on the case. However, the paper said, a spokeswoman said that whenever someone reports concerns, “we have a responsibility as part of our duty to check on people’s welfare.”
Fair enough — but does that also include an automatic visit and investigation from child protective services personnel?
The couple said their son told officers that neither he nor his sister were doing anything illegal and that they are permitted to walk (the kids appear to know more about the Constitution than cops did). On most other occasions, said their mother, the kids carry a laminated card with parental contact information that says, “I am not lost. I am a free-range kid.” But that day the children did not have the card with them, the Post said.
The couple says they have put a lot of thought into what kind of parents they wanted to be.
“Parenthood is an exercise in risk management,” said Danielle. “Every day, we decide: Are we going to let our kids play football? Are we going to let them do a sleepover? Are we going to let them climb a tree? We’re not saying parents should abandon all caution. We’re saying parents should pay attention to risks that are dangerous and likely to happen.”
Furthermore, she continued, “Abductions are extremely rare. Car accidents are not. The number one cause of death for children of their age is a car accident.”
Forcing them to parent a certain way
When the police dropped the children off, they lectured the parents about the “dangers” of the world — and Alexander says he had a hard time listening to that.
Shortly after police left, Montgomery County Child Protective Services swooped in and forced the couple to sign an agreement stating that they would not leave their children unattended until CPS workers showed up a couple of days later. Alexander said he wanted to talk to his lawyer first, but the CPS official said the state would take his children if he refused to sign.
Later, the parents learned that their children had also been interviewed by CPS officials at their school — a development that angered them.
“I think what CPS considered neglect, we felt was an essential part of growing up and maturing,” Alexander said. “We feel we’re being bullied into a point of view about child-rearing that we strongly disagree with.”