It's not the first time Rafi and Dvora Meitiv have been picked up by authorities. This time, the Maryland kids, ages 10 and 6, were found at a park around 5pm yesterday; officials took them in after a bystander reported they were on their own. The park was about a third of a mile from their home, MyFoxDC reports. Parents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv believe their so-called "free-range children" are learning to face the world independently, the Washington Post reports. This time, the kids were supposed to be home at 6pm. "We have been searching for the kids for hours," Danielle wrote on Facebook after that curfew passed. At 8pm, they learned the children were with Child Protective Services.
Finally, Rafi and Dvora were released at 10:30pm, after the parents signed documentation saying they wouldn't leave them unattended. There haven't been any charges, though a previous case found the Meitivs "responsible for unsubstantiated child neglect." In the meantime, the debate continues over free-range children. At NPR, anthropology professor Barbara King notes that today's kids have been said to spend between four and seven minutes outside each day: "The bottom line for me is that whatever gets our ... kids safely outdoors and active for appreciably more than seven minutes a day is a good thing." But Danielle Meitiv says the latest incident was the stuff of nightmares, Fox notes. Learn more about the Meitivs' thinking.