'Bring back our lollipop man!'

Colin Thompson has been suspended pending an investigation
Colin Thompson has been suspended pending an investigation

Parents are demanding a lollipop man is returned to his post after he was suspended pending an investigation over inappropriate comments.

Colin Thompson, 71, has become a friendly face to thousands of pupils and parents on busy school runs for the past four years.

Pupil Emily Garbutt is backing Colin

Pupil Emily Garbutt is backing Colin

The pensioner decided to take on the new role after retirement, because he was “doing something for the kids and parents”.

But he received a notice of suspension last week following a comment made to a female pupil.

Mr Thompson said the action stemmed from a “misunderstanding” outside Burlington Junior School on Monday June 13.

“I was talking to the mother about her girl and someone overheard it and took it the wrong way.”

More than 200 people have already signed a petition to bring back Colin

More than 200 people have already signed a petition to bring back Colin

Mr Thompson said he told the girl she “scrubbed up well out of uniform”, and “you will break some hearts when you’re a bit older”.

The pupil in question was dressed in non-school uniform.

But Mr Thompson insists “there was nothing inappropriate”, and he said the parent who overheard his remarks “took umbrage” with his comments.

He said East Riding of Yorkshire Council phoned him on Wednesday June 15, asking him to step down after they had received an anonymous complaint from another parent.

Colin has been a lollipop man for the last four years

Colin has been a lollipop man for the last four years

A letter from the council that he received on Saturday said his suspension was a “precautionary measure”.

The letter read: “In the meantime prior to the investigatory interview you are instructed not to come to your workplace or any other council establishment or school, and not contact in any way, any of our colleagues, without prior approval.”

Mr Thompson said he was “gutted”.

He added: “I thought ‘what have I done?’ I should be re-instated – it’s a slur on my name.”

A council spokesman said: “It is not council policy to comment on an individual member of staff and crossing patrols at the school are continuing.”

The 71-year-old will now face a tribunal at a date yet to be confirmed.

Until then he will not be allowed to perform his lollipop man duties.

Since his suspension, hundreds of parents have campaigned for his return.

Lindsay Atkinson said: “What a fantastic person. That gentleman has a heart of gold. He deserves some recognition not to be suspended!”

Mandy Clay commented: “Brilliant, lovely, kind man! Bring back Colin! Takes care of us and our children crossing a busy road and high fives the kids.”

A petition has amassed more than 200 signatures, which is available to sign at Tesco and Jolly Jumpers on Thixendale Road.

Mayor Cllr Liam Dealtry added: “It would be a shame if he lost his job over it because he is well liked by all the mums and dads whom I have spoken to.”