What are your thoughts?
We don't have cross walk supervisors at ds's school but don't see the issue of a person high fiving my child provided the person is well known and respected by the community as appears to be the case here.
Backflip: Lollipop man allowed to high five kids
Mar 26, 2013 1:52pm
A MELBOURNE crossing supervisor says the high fives he gives students are key to convincing them to follow the road rules.
Outraged parents and members of the public came to the defence of Bayside lollipop man Graham Sanderson, 60, this morning after the council asked him not to touch students.
By 10am today, the Bayside Council had backed down.
Alan, a lollipop man who works in the northern suburbs, says the high five was a way to get the road safety message across to children.
“I just feel I’ve got about 50 odd nationalities at my school and I reckon I’ve got 275 kids in the school and out of that 275 kids I reckon I’d have about 175 that speak English and the rest don’t,” Alan said.
“We have to gain their confidence to use the school crossing, if they don’t like us, they won’t.”
Alan has been a lollipop man for 15 years and has won a School Crossing Supervisor of the Year award.
“That’s how I got by, by high-fiving. I’ve been doing it, high-fiving for nearly all the time I’ve been there. We’ve been told we’re not to do it, but I keep doing it anyway,” he said.
Council responds to community outcry
Council spokesperson Fran Duiker said they received an overwhelming response from the St Mary’s Primary School community.
“Graham can continue to high five and greet the children in a friendly and appropriate manner every morning and afternoon,” Ms Duiker said.
“If you don’t want Graham to high five, please ask him not to high five your child.”
Mr Sanderson has been the St Mary's Primary School crossing supervisor for seven years.
Bayside City Council said in a statement this morning that the directive for Mr Sanderson to stop the high-fives was in response to a complaint.
“Following advice from the school that parents had signed a petition indicating their support for the crossing supervisor and the practice of high-fives, Council said it was comfortable to allow the practice to continue on the understanding that any parent not wanting their child to receive a high-five must be respected,” the statement read.
High fives 'brings a smile'
Outraged parent Sharon Burleigh was among the petitioners.
"It makes our kids happy and parents get a chance to see a lighter side of this gentleman who brings a smile to our kids' faces," Mrs Burleigh said.
Parent Augusta Benvenuto said the council made a good judgement.
“The parents that have pushed for the overturn are very excited that Graham got what he deserved,” Ms Benvenuto said.
“I don’t want anyone to say that my child shouldn’t do something if I give my permission to do it, that should be on me, on the parent,” she said.
Earlier, Bayside City Council infrastructure services director Steven White said school crossing supervisors had to follow the council's 'no touch' practice along with all other staff.
He said supervisors were encouraged to greet children and families "in a friendly manner".
Bayside Council is advertising for school crossing supervisors online.