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It didn't seem to them like a criminal act. They just let their kids walk themselves home.

When a couple decided to take a chance and grant their kids a bit more freedom, the state's response was swift: “Bad parents."

It didn't seem to them like a criminal act. They just let their kids walk themselves home.

Two parents keep getting in trouble for the amount of freedom they give their kids.

When Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, parents in Silver Spring, Maryland, first let their 10-year-old walk their 6-year-old home from a park, they got a warning from child protective services and were forced to sign an agreement not to leave the children unattended anymore. It was that or lose the kids, according to this video (also below) from The Washington Post.


The Meitivs are trying to teach their kids to be self-sufficient in a way they feel is right. The Meitivs are part of the Free-Range Kids movement, whose motto is "How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)."

The children were discovered again by themselves at a park in April 2015. This time, they were taken into protective custody, and the authorities wouldn't release them for over five hours.

The Meitivs were accused of neglect and warned that protective services would file charges and send the children into foster homes unless the parents made a legal commitment to a safety plan.

When is it OK for kids to go out on their own?

Maryland does have a state law that says children under 8 must be accompanied by a person of at least 13. It's on the books to protect young children who may otherwise lack proper adult supervision.

And a 10-year-old may seem young to be responsible for a 6-year-old. Maybe you agree with the Meitivs, maybe not. Still.

It's a hot topic right now for parents.

Are we doing the best thing for our kids by keeping such close tabs on them, or are we really holding them back due to our own paranoia about what could go wrong? Are we preventing them from learning to be independent just because we're terrified of the big, bad world? 24-hour media coverage of the bad things that happen is certainly scaring us out of our wits. It's called mean world syndrome.

Statistically, kids are safer now than they used to be.

According to the The Washington Post, there's never been a safer time to be a kid in America. The odds are really pretty good.

But it's not just about the odds. It's also about what's being risked.

In the end, the odds are meaningless if it's your child who comes to harm or worse. The unthinkables are why this topic is so charged and why parents are having such a hard time working out what to do about their children.

Opening the dialogue is critical.

Maybe the most important thing about the Meitivs' story after all is this: Because of it, so many more people are now aware of — and thinking about — this tricky, tricky issue that's right at the heart of how the next generation will live in this world. When they finally emerge from our careful protection, will it be as fearful, hesitant people or as life-embracing adults?

Here's the story of how the Meitivs' problem with Maryland began:

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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