A 77-year-old school crossing guard was ordered to stop high-fiving kids, as this could be the gateway to sexually abusing them. In response, he has thrown in the towel.
Bryan Broom, a "lollipop man" (so-called not because he gave kids lollipops, but because crossing guards in Britain hold up circular stop signs on sticks), said he can't stand the idea that merely being friendly to kids could be interpreted as skeevy. As the UK's Mirror reports:
Bryan has revealed why he made the tough decision to quit doing the job he loved after almost two decades.
He said: “I used to high-five the kids until I was told it could be construed as grooming – that is what the council told me.
“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.
His resignation was greeted with dismay by legions of kids and parents who appreciated his friendliness and didn't equate kindness with perversion. Imagine that.
Bryan had been investigated by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (could you sound any more British than that?), but the complaints were dismissed as unsubstantiated. What's sickening to me is the fact that merely hearing he was investigated will be enough to plant a seed of doubt and disgust in many people's minds. We are ready to see menace almost everywhere, even in public.
Further evidence of this mindset comes this story: A couple was asked to leave a petting zoo because they were there without kids. Reports The Sun (which no doubt played its own role in whipping up predator panic):
A COUPLE say they were "made to feel like paedophiles" after being kicked out of a petting zoo - because they didn't have children....
Fiona Offord, 48, and her 68-year-old husband Tom were...told that Marsh Farm was a "family attraction" and it was part of their "safeguarding policy".
Safeguarding kids from what? A world where adults and young people share the same public space? Is that how far we've gone?
This is the definition of a panic: Seeing all adults as potential predators. Keep them away! - L.