A lollipop lady has been banned from giving high fives to children at a primary school due to “health and safety rules”.
Sheila Allen, 58, from South Wales, is a “pupils’ favourite” and has been at St Illtyd Primary School for more than ten years.
However bosses at Vale of Glamorgan Council said Allen’s high fives were causing “traffic jams” so she is now only able to give children a smile or thumbs up.
Parents are supporting her and campaigning to get the high five back.
“It is completely ridiculous,” mum-of-two Lucy Heffernan, 34, told the Telegraph.
Heffernan added: “Some mornings my son cries when I bring him to school because he doesn’t like coming – but Sheila can turn his whole morning around with a high five.”
Another mother of a child who goes to the school, Amy Milne, 22, said her four-year-old daughter loved the high fives and she is finding it hard to explain why she doesn’t get them anymore.
Parents have said Allen makes “crossing road safely fun” and they can’t see anything wrong with the high fives.
They said kids are now putting their hands up to high five Allen and she has to leave them hanging.
Emma Reed, head of visible services and transport at Vale of Glamorgan Council, told HuffPost UK: “We of course want pupils to enjoy their day at school as much as possible but the children’s safety, and that of our crossing patrol staff, must always be our top priority.
“Like most councils our school crossing patrol teams operate in line with the Road Safety GB National Guidelines.
“These guidelines make clear that patrol officers should ‘avoid any distractions or activities that could divert your attention from your important task of seeing pedestrians safely across the road’ and should not ‘remain in the road longer than is necessary, as this causes undue delay to traffic’.
“This is why after receiving complaints from members of the public we had to remind this member of our team of the importance of putting safety first at all times.”
The council shared some guidelines about the School Crossing Patrol (SCP) to highlight why the high five was banned:
The SCP must hold the sign so it is displayed full-face to motorists.
The SCP should stretch the other arm straight out to the side as a further indication to traffic to stop. The SCP must always display the sign so motorists can read the word ‘STOP’ and see the child symbol clearly.
The SCP should avoid any distractions or activities that could divert your attention from your important task of seeing pedestrians safely across the road.
The SCP sign should be displayed upright and clear, and children should not remain in the road longer than necessary.