A veteran lollipop man has abruptly quit his job of 20 years after parents accused him of grooming children... by high-fiving them.
77-year-old Bryan Broom has worked for East Riding of Yorkshire Council since 1998 to help children cross the road to Kirkella St. Andrews Community Primary School. Despite being an award-winning lollipop man - he received an Unsung Hero Award from the council in 2014 - Broom has been forced into an early retirement.
The council confirmed it had received a "couple" of complaints from parents. Broom decided to not keep working without the "back of the council".
Speaking to the Hull Daily Mail, Broom said "this business of political correctness, it has just gone mad. [The council] were saying we have called you into the office twice, if it happens again we really are going to give you a slap on the wrist," Broom said.
"A child came up and said, 'high-five Bryan' but apparently I can't do that nowadays because I've been told it could be misconstrued as grooming. I'm outgoing and cannot be reined in. I'm very sad to leave but its my choice at the end of the day.
"It's rather peculiar because two or three months ago there were pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge high-fiving at a school and I should have sent copies of those to the council. If it was good enough for the royal family why is it not good enough for me."
Several parents have spoken out against Broom leaving. According to the Scottish Sun, Geri Mcleod-Pratt said Broom was "perfect. Getting the kids ready in the morning is not the easiest of tasks," Mcleod-Prett said. "But I always knew that when I got to the crossing, someone was going to make me belly laugh and that person was Bryan.
"As well as making everybody laugh he always maintained safety, got the children safely across the road but brightened up our mornings as well. It was a win-win situation. Everybody's really upset, really angry."
The council said the complaints were investigated but not upheld. "Mr Broom is choosing to leave of his own accord and we wish him well for the future."
Meanwhile, a lollipop man in Great Manchester was banned from giving pupils high-fives because it caused 'disruption'.