• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

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

Sierra Shoemaker, 12, of Fresno, speaks about her spelling bee experience in this March image. A supposed error that got her bumped her to second place in the contest was cleared up, and she was able to move on to the county level.

March 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fresno girl has been vindicated for a spelling bee error and will move on to the county competition.

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.