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Upper Norwood lollipop lady quits after being abused by children

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PARENTS are calling for the return of a popular lollipop lady who quit following threats from abusive pupils.

Waving their own signs saying "Come Back Jenny" and "We Miss Jenny" they staged a demonstration at the junction of Auckland Road and Sylvan Road, in Upper Norwood.

But their campaign has hit a hitch, because none of them knows Jenny's surname nor how to contact her, now that she has quit her job with Croydon Council.

Parent Michelle Hubbard said: "We have realised that despite the long time we have known her and the help she has given our children, we didn't get to know her other than as Jenny.

"We are hoping she will learn of our campaign to persuade her come back."

Parents said Jenny had seen children attending a number of schools in the area safely across the busy junction for 12 years.

Ms Hubbard said they understood Jenny had quit after deciding she could no longer put up with verbal and threatened physical abuse from a small number of pupils attending the nearby Phil Edwards Pupil Referral Unit.

She said they also understood the school had asked one particular pupil not to arrive at school while Jenny was on patrol, but even that had not been enough to persuade her to stay on.

The mothers are now concerned by indications from the council that Jenny might not be replaced.

Ms Hubbard said: "Jenny is so important, she has looked after so many children.

"She was always at work, and on the one day she had off sick with flu last year somebody got run over.

"Jenny was so worried by what happened, she was back at work the next day."

She added: "It is ridiculous when a lollipop lady needs a bouncer to enable her to do her job."

Another of the mums, Tracey Kan, said: "As well as making the placards, we have left messages on trees around the crossing saying 'we miss you'.

"And we do really miss her, because she was there all the time to help. I often left little messages with her to pass on to my 12-year-old daughter.

"We feel she left because she just didn't feel supported enough. I think we need to work hard with the school, the council and local people to ensure that she feels valued."

A council spokesman said: "Council staff have important jobs to carry out, so it is totally unacceptable that they should be abused by members of the public, and we will always support officers if there is an accusation of a verbal or physical attack."

The Phil Edwards Pupil Referral Unit had not commented at the time of going to press.

Do you know 'Jenny'? Call the newsdesk on 01737 783822 or e-mail newsdesk@croydonadvertiser.co.uk

Upper Norwood lollipop lady quits after being abused by children


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