Sunday 16 December 2018

Lollipop man (77) quits job after council bans him from high-fiving children

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Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A 77-year-old lollipop man has quit his job of 20 years after the council received complaints of him 'high-fiving'

Bryan Broom said he was stepping down from his position after 20 years following complaints from the local council that high-fiving the children could be construed as grooming.

Mr Broom who worked as a lollipop man for Kirk Ella St Andrews Primary School in Yorkshire told the Hull Daily Mail: "I used to high-five the kids until I was told it could be construed as grooming - that is what the council told me."

Mr Broom said he was warned from the council that he would get a "slap on the wrist" if he continued to high-five the children.

"The business of political correctness, it has just gone mad," he said.

Mr Broom, whose children and grandchildren attended the school, said he was very said to resign but didn't feel like he could do his job properly in the present atmosphere.

Speaking on ITV's This Morning on Monday, Mr Broom said: "It went wrong insofar as I was called into a meeting and I was told that high-five could be construed as grooming.

"So the next time a child said 'high-five Brian' I said 'I'm terribly sorry but I'm not allowed to now because it could be construed as grooming'. And apparently this parent complained, I was called into the office, got my wrist slapped.

"I'm a rather outgoing person. I can't do a job when I'm constantly looking over my shoulder to see if I'm saying the right thing or any action could be interpreted wrongly.

"I feel it's so sad that the council, as I said in my resignation, the council is kowtowing down to a very, very small minority of people rather in, in my opinion, embracing the views of the vast majority.

"It does make me terribly said. I didn't want to resign but I can't work under these conditions - I can't do it."

It comes as 83-year-old lollipop man Colin Spencer was last week banned from high-fiving children outside a school in Stockport by the local council.

Earlier this week Stockport Council barred 83-year-old Colin Spencer from giving out high fives, over fears that it could leave him distracted.

But, following an outpouring of public support for Mr Spencer, the council issued a new statement saying its decision was “clearly wrong”.

It also apologised for the unnecessary concern it had caused.

Mr Spencer has supervised the crossing by St George’s Primary School for 14 years and said in an interview with ITV News that he had never once had a pupil hurt, or been hurt himself.

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