Lollipop man takes the high five road

Lollipop man Bob Slade, 65, has quit following accusations that he is being unsafe in his job. His crime? High-fiving the school children as he was helping them cross the road. 

Bob pointed out that his employers, Plymouth council originally told him to make contact with the children and be friendly. Later they changed their minds and told him to stop high-fiving the children. He complained, but the council responded by threatening to suspend him for four weeks. Bob decided to quit instead, saying he was due to retire soon anyway. 

"I really enjoyed the job. I have been doing it for more than four years without a single accident," said Bob. "I had to stop giving them high fives about a month before I resigned.

"The parents were all happy for me to do so and I would always ensure their safety but once the council told me I would be suspended, I thought it was best I resigned."

A spokesman for the council said that doing anything other than holding the lollipop and holding an arm out as a signal for cars to stop, was a "safety risk to people crossing the road."

It is unclear how having no lollipop man is safer than having one who helps kids cross the road with encouragement and the occasional high five. But I am sure they know far more about how to get Bob's crossing patrol safe than Bob did. The man in the office beats the man on the street... or the road in this case.It's a story that doesn't leave a sweet taste in your mouth. 

High fives all round for Bob, a lollipop man who cared. I am sure he would not let a car mow a kid down just so he could high five them, even without a council memo. 

Words by Mairi Harris

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