Earlier this month, 6th grade student Sierra Shoemaker was eliminated from a spelling bee in Fresno County for misspelling the world “braille,” as in the reading aide for blind people. The only problem? She spelling it right, and everyone else, including the spelling bee officials and school superintendent, spelled it wrong (“braile”). It took a few weeks, but after much appealing, Sienna was finally allowed back into the competition last week.
She is quoted as saying she wanted to argue when she was told she misspelled the word, but that “You don’t really argue with the word master. It’s just not the thing to do. Yeah, you could get in trouble for it.”
Well, sometimes the Word Master is wrong. And sometimes, no matter what tradition dictates, you have to speak up. It can be scary when everyone is telling you you’re wrong. but if in your heart of hearts you know you’re right, then stand up for what you believe.
Sierra got a second chance when judges finally acknowledged her mistake. She was promptly eliminated on another word, this time legitimately.
Not every fight is about winning; sometimes it’s about seeing the right thing done.
So fight for your second chance, even if you’re afraid you may fail again. You’ll never know if you don’t try!