"Free-range" parents everywhere can now breathe a sigh of relief and let their kids walk home from the park unsupervised—kind of. Maryland parents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been cleared of their second (of three since 2014) child neglect charges against them.
The Meitivs' cases have garnered national attention and spurred debate on parental supervision. In December, they allowed their children (ages 6 and 10) to walk home alone from a playground a mile from their house. The children were detained after being spotted by authorities. Maryland law dictates that kids under 8 must be in the care of a person at least 13 years old.
"Our rights were violated," Danielle told ABC News. "The Constitution very clearly protects parents' rights to raise their kids the way they see fit."
CPS did not disclose a reason for the ruling.
The Meitivs are moving forward with plans to file a lawsuit against Montgomery County Police and Child Protective Services based on their third incident in April, when the kids were detained by police officers and later CPS for hours.
"We fear that our family and other Maryland families will be subject to further investigations and frightening police detentions simply because our and their children have been been taught how to walk safely in their neighborhood including to and from school and local parks," Danielle said.