When this lollipop man was banned from doing one thing on his watch, the community fought back and won.

Last week, Colin Spencer, 83, was banned from high-fiving kids due to fears the practice would distract him from his job.

The ban was issued by Stockport Council, in Manchester, England — but the council wasn’t anticipating the outpouring of community support for the veteran lollipop man that followed.

Mr Spencer, who has kept vigil over the crossing at St George’s Primary School for 14 years, told ITV News he was saddened by the decision, and that neither he nor a student had ever been hurt on his watch.

However, council staff told Mr Spencer his primary duty was “ensuring highway safety” and that he should be constantly monitoring road and traffic conditions instead of greeting children.

Parents and schoolchildren received text messages informing them of the ban, with many children left upset and confused by the instruction.

At the time, Mr Spencer, a grandfather of 10, told the Manchester Evening News the decision was “petty”.

“It’s bureaucracy gone mad. The decision really did upset many children. Especially the younger ones,” he said.

According to The Independent, the council had been inundated by complaints about the ban and support for Mr Spencer.

It has since released a new statement describing the initial rule as “clearly wrong” and apologising for the distress it caused.

“Following the recent reports surrounding Stockport Council’s lollipop man, Colin Spencer, we want to apologise for the unnecessary concern caused by the issuing of an instruction that was clearly wrong,” a spokesperson told The Independent.

Similar high-five bans have also occurred in Australia.

One lollipop lady was banned from offering treats to the kids. Students petitioned to reverse a ban stopping their lollipop lady from handing out treats. READ MORE>

Should the high fives be banned?

Share your comments below.

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  • I can’t believe the council would waste their time on something like this. This gentleman is doing nothing wrong except making the children feel special. Thanks to the community and families he can continue his wonderful act of kindness.


  • There is plenty of time to talk to the children and high five the kids while waiting for the lights to change – and instructing them also to look right, left and right again before crossing the road. Good on the community for fighting for this gentleman.


  • I don’t think handing the children lollies is a good idea. Are the children able to clean their teeth after they eat them. Some children could be Diabetic or have other medical problems and should have any containing some ingredients. e.g. some have wheat allergies. You would be surprised how many have allergies to wheat.


  • No high fives should not be banned, he is obviously a cheerful and friendly man, this is utter madness.


  • How ridiculous- good on the community for fighting back!


  • Yay people power. The Lollilop Lady/Man is a familiar and regular face for most students. High fiving is done when the traffic is stopped so I’m not sure how this affects anything else. Traffic is stopped. Does this hold things up more? No, it doesn’t. Seriously. I agree this is petty and thank God someone saw sense.


  • I know a lovely crossing lady that talks to everyone that crosses her crossing and it’s never distracted her from doing her job. She’s always up for a chat. High 5ing a child crossing the road in a safe zone while traffic is stopped isn’t going to distract him from doing his job. It’s not like the child is stopping in the middle of the road, they do it as they keep walking


  • Crazy ! What’s wrong with a high five when doing your job & passion ? I would be less happy with the lady handing treats to the kids.


  • True, bureaucracy gone mad!


  • What a load of garbage! The world is going berserk!


  • Personally I wouldn’t ban it. It seems quite exaggerated. Is it really banned in some places in Australia?


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