Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

High-fiving lollipop man quits

A lollipop man who high-fived school children said he was threatened with suspension for the friendly gesture
A lollipop man who high-fived school children said he was threatened with suspension for the friendly gesture

A lollipop man has quit his post after apparently being censured by council bosses for high-fiving school children.

Bob Slade, a crossing patrol supervisor in Plymouth, Devon, said he has resigned after being investigated by the city council over safety concerns.

The 65-year-old said he was threatened with suspension for the friendly gesture as children crossed the road.

He told the Plymouth Herald newspaper: "When I got the job they told me to make contact with the kids and be friendly.

"But then they changed their minds and I stopped high-fiving them earlier in the year because they told me to stop.

"They said they would suspend me for four weeks but I said I would rather leave - I was going to retire soon anyway."

Manadon Vale Primary School is currently without a crossing patrol supervisor, following Mr Slade's departure.

A Plymouth City Council spokesman told the newspaper that it took the safety of children "very seriously" and said: " To do this they must hold out the lollipop with one arm and hold their other arm outstretched to signal that all traffic must stop, this is well established signalling that should be understood by all drivers."

The spokesman said patrols could be "friendly" but said their full attention had to be on the road.

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