A beloved lollipop man has hung up his lollipop for good after parents complained about him ‘high fiving’ school children.
77-year-old Bryan Broom from Hull, East Yorkshire guided his very last set of children over his crossing on Friday 9 February after twenty years of service.
The married dad-of-two has blamed ‘political correctness gone mad’ after council officers warned him high-fiving kids might be misconstrued as grooming.
Plenty of parents from Kirk Ella St Andrew’s Community Primary School have come forward to offer support, with some even considering petitioning to get Bryan to change his mind.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council bosses have advised a ‘couple’ of complaints were made against the popular lollipop man but these were not upheld following investigation.
Bryan – who has previously received an Unsung Hero Award at an East Riding council headquarters’ ceremony – has revealed why he has chosen to resign:
They [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.
I was thinking, ‘I don’t need all of this now’. I feel as though I’ve got to be very careful with what I say and even how I look at people.
I’m outgoing and cannot be reigned in. I’m very sad to leave but it’s my choice at the end of the day.
If I can blow my own trumpet, I’ve always been a popular person on that crossing. Someone once said I was the most well-known person in Kirkella.
I don’t get the impression that they [the council] would back me if anything did happen.
Now, I’m not a person I’m purely a number. I think that’s getting to be typical of life these days.
Nobody is more upset than me that I’m leaving but my mind is made up. I seem to have got my ten minutes of fame, at least.
A complaint was made against Bryan last November after he made a quip:
A lady had come with her child and being typical of me I said to her, ‘is that your sister?’ I have said it to 9,999 ladies, grandmothers, they always respond ‘I wish’.
Apparently, instead of coming to me they went straight to the council and put in a complaint.
A child came up to and said, ‘high-five Bryan’ but apparently I can’t do that nowadays because I’ve been told it could be misconstrued as grooming.
This business of political correctness, it has just gone mad.
I have been doing this for a lot of years, I’m an outgoing sort of person and like to have fun with the parents and children.
Obviously, my priority is getting parents and children across the road safely but if I can get them to go across with a smile on their faces then I’m happy.
All the best of luck to Bryan for the future.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.