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Crossing guard quits over high five suspension

UPI News Service, 10/14/2013 

A crossing guard for a British school said he quit after officials threatened to suspend him for high-fiving children as they cross the street.

Bob Slade, 65, said he quit his job as a crossing guard at Manadon Vale Primary School in Plymouth, England, when the city council threatened to suspend him for four weeks for giving out high-fives to the crossing children, The Mirror reported Monday.

Slade, who worked outside the school for four years, said officials told him the greeting was inappropriate because he should be using one hand to hold his stop sign and the other to signal traffic.

"They also said I was going out into the road without looking properly. They said they would suspend me for four weeks but I said I would rather leave," Slade said. "I was going to retire soon anyway. I appreciate the support of the parents but I won't be going back again. This is the end of it now."

Some parents said they were upset by Slade's firing.

"It's a shame he's been penalized as he did his job so well -- his priority was to keep the kids safe, which he always did," said Gary Hay, 46, who has two children at the school. "All he'd do was a friendly low five as they were safely crossing the road -- the kids loved it."

A spokeswoman for the city council said officials are seeking a replacement crossing guard.

"While patrols can be friendly, their full attention must be on the road and they must watch the traffic closely at all times," she said.

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