By Ashley Yarchin
TROY, Mo. (KSDK) - An eastern Missouri mom says she's fighting for what's fair. Her son suffers from cystic fibrosis and she explains that he missed out on a school activity because of an illness he can't control.
Eight-year-old Kenny Bender goes to William Cappel Elementary and attendance is a big deal there.
"I missed two days of school but my friend only missed one and he got to do it and I found it unfair," Kenny said.
On Friday, the second grader's friend, along with half the school, got to the chance to try to throw a ball to send the school's principal and assistant principal into a dunk tank. It was all part of an attendance challenge to encourage kids to come to class. To participate in the event, students needed to have 95 percent attendance from the day after Thanksgiving break until the Christmas vacation.
Kenny's mother, Nicole Bender, contends that he was home sick those two days dealing with treatments for cystic fibrosis. She took her concerns to school immediately, but to no avail.
"I think the hardest part is that he's just an eight-year-old kid who wants to have fun with the rest of the school and to be excluded because he was born this way is just not fair," Nicole said. "It literally break my heart, it makes me cry."
"While we understand that any illness, whether it is a pre-existing condition or just the flu can prohibit many kids from not coming to school for good reason, this attendance incentive was strictly for children who received that," said April Bryant, the community relations specialist for Lincoln County R-III School District. "We did not make any exceptions for any children."