Why kids can't high-five in Peterborough, Ont.
Published Friday, November 28, 2014 8:29AM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 28, 2014 5:24PM EST
A group of parents are protesting a Peterborough, Ont. policy that bans children from high-fiving their crossing guards while walking to school.
Earlier this week, a crossing guard from Prince of Wales Public School was instructed to stop high-fiving children while on duty. The guard was reminded that the high-fives violate a city policy prohibiting all forms of physical contact between guards and children.
The policy suggests that students are distracting guards with the gesture of appreciation.
Representatives of the city say it has always been in place, and that their priority is the safety of the children.
"There is a potential that guards can be distracted and we want to make sure those crossing locations are safe," Kevin Jones, Peterborough's manager of transportation, told CTV Toronto on Friday.
He said city officials have observed high-fives between crossing guards and children in the past that "have become a little bit too extreme." He pointed out one incident where a child was seen jumping and high-fiving a guard's sign while crossing the road.
"That's an example where it can become a safety issue if the child tripped and fell in the middle of the road," he said.
Jones adds that the purpose of the policy is not "restrict" guards from interacting with the children.
"There are ways to do that without doing things like high-fives and other forms of physical contact. You can certainly do that through positive reinforcement."
Parents and crossing guards, however, are frustrated with the legislation because they say the gesture builds a more trusting relationship between children and the guards.
A rally started at 10:30 a.m. outside Peterborough City Hall, and was attended by parents and students.
Kids were out of school for a PA day.