Teacher's Reward Program Charges Second-Graders for Bathroom Breaks

Going to restroom costs kids "Boyd Bucks" that are earned with good behavior

By Kevin Cokely
|  Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012  |  Updated 2:38 PM CDT
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The mother of a 7-year-old says he wet his pants after his teacher refused to let him use the restroom. Bathroom breaks cost

Kevin Cokely, NBC 5 News

The mother of a 7-year-old says he wet his pants after his teacher refused to let him use the restroom. Bathroom breaks cost "Boyd Bucks" that are earned with good behavior.

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Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that school administrators did not plan any disciplinary action. However, the Irving school district told NBC 5 on Monday that the administration would take appropriate action.

The mother of a 7-year-old Irving elementary school student says her son wet his pants in class after his teacher refused to let him use the restroom Thursday afternoon.

"I was absolutely appalled," Sonja Cross said. "I could not believe it."

The first-year teacher at J.O. Davis Elementary awards her students with "Boyd Bucks" for good behavior. Going to the bathroom outside of the three scheduled breaks costs two Boyd Bucks per trip.

Cross' son, an honor roll student, needed to go to the bathroom, but he sat back down because he didn't have any Boyd Bucks, his mother said.

"He tried to hold it as much as he could, but he just couldn’t," Cross said. "He came home from school, and he was crying and really upset."

"Really, that's just unhealthy," Cross said. "I think that she had no concern for the children."

Cross complained to the teacher, but didn’t like the response.

"Originally when I first spoke with the teacher, she was just going to show my son special treatment, but then I said, 'That's just not good enough. I need for you to stop this for all the children,'" she said.

Cross informed school administrators, who quickly told the teacher to stop charging her students to go to the bathroom.

"It's not a bad idea to have a reward program in the class -- and they're going to continue that, but not for the bathroom breaks," Irving school district spokesman Billy Rudolph said.

But Cross said her son still has to face his classmates.

"The kids are teasing him and whatnot, and it's just over for him," she said. "This is something he's going to have to deal with for quite some time."

Cross said she may push for the teacher to be suspended.

On Friday, the district said that school administrators did not plan any disciplinary action, but the superintendent on Monday said that the district would review the incident.

"The district doesn't condone this, and it was a bad decision," Irving Superintendent Dana T. Bedden said. "We have been working with the principal to address the issue."

The district said on Monday that the incident is currently under review and that Irving ISD administration would determine appropriate disciplinary action.

"The district will gather information and address the issue appropriately based on our human resources practices regarding employee performance," Bedden said.

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