A 65-year-old lollipop man has walked out of his job after over-zealous council bosses threatened him with suspension for 'high-fiving' children as he saw them across the road.
Bob Slade, from Beacon Park, Plymouth, had been helping kids from Manadon Vale Primary School cross the road safely for four and a half years.
Outraged parents have backed the pensioner, who was told by Plymouth City Council that he faced four weeks' suspension because of 'safety concerns'.
A spokesperson at the council said that although school crossing patrols could be friendly, 'their full attention must be on the road and they must watch the traffic closely at all times'.
Mr Slade, who worked at a dockyard for 45 years before taking up his position at the school, told his local paper he would not be going back after the row.
"I have been doing it for more that four years without a single accident," he said. "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 also said I was going out into the road without looking properly.
"They said they would suspend me for four weeks but I said I would rather leave – I was going to retire soon anyway."
He said that although he appreciated the support of the local parents, he would not be returning to the post.
"I won't be going back again, this is the end of it now."
A parent with two children at the school said it was a case of 'health and safety gone mad'.
A Plymouth City Council spokesperson told the Plymouth Herald that school crossing patrols exist to make sure children can cross roads as safely as possible. They said that to do that, the patrol officer must hold out the lollipop with one arm, and hold their other arm outstretched to signal the traffic must stop.
This seems to be a 'thing' - we reported on a similar story last year.
What do you think about it?
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