Fresno girl vindicated for spelling bee error, moving on to county contest

FRESNO, Calif.

Sierra Shoemaker was given the word "Braille" to spell in the Selma School District spelling bee last Friday. The 12-year-old spelled it correctly. However, the word was spelled with only one "l" on the judges' paperwork and the word master's sheet.

The judges said Shoemaker spelled the word wrong and she graciously took home her second place trophy.

"I didn't want to say anything, because when the word master tells you that you got a word wrong, you don't really want to argue with him," Shoemaker said. "So I was shocked. I was just kind of like, what? I looked around at the audience and half of them were looking at each other murmuring."

Shoemaker now knows she will advance to the county spelling bee. Officials are making a change and allowing three kids to go instead of two.

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