There was much attention last week on the Meitiv family of Silver Spring, Md., whose children, ages 6 and 10, were picked up by police for walking home from a park unattended.
The Meitivs had a similar brush with authorities last December. They call themselves “Free-Range Parents,” part of a national movement to give children more freedom to explore their world.
The subject has been one of much debate. The most recent Washington Post stories on the Meitivs have hundreds of comments, ranging from “Ok…seriously…since when does any government agency have the right to do this to our children?” to “The parents in question are being irresponsible. … Prove a point in other ways, but not at the risk of your children. We have ‘free range’ pedophiles as well.”
Meanwhile, Reston is connected by 55 miles of paths, many of which connect schools to village centers, and it is not so unusual to see children walking here without adults. Higher-density housing such as townhomes mean there are dozens of neighborhood and Reston Association playgrounds too.
At what age do you think it is right for children to roam Reston safely? Do you let your kids play at the corner park or head to the village center for ice cream without you? Do you agree with the Silver Spring family or do you think a concerned citizen who called police did the right thing?
Take our poll and answer in the comments.