Student spelling bees are pretty damn hardcore it seems, as a Brooklyn principal purportedly refused to allow one of her students participate because he’s special ed … and what, wouldn’t be competitive enough? Eighth-grader Lammare St. Phard from School 252 in East Flatbush charged that the principal told him he’d make the school look bad when he gets eliminated after the first round; teachers support his allegation. Apparently, St. Phard beat out 12 other students from his class to advance to a school-wide spelling bee, but no other classes had held bees so he was named champion of the school by default. His glorious win didn’t last, though, when Principal Mendis Brown supposedly took St. Phard aside and told him she didn’t want to send him to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Teachers claim that Brown then re-organized the school-wide bee and named a general education student victorious. But wait, it gets even worse. When the winner and second runner up both declined to compete in the next round, Brown allegedly refused to allow the second runner up—another special ed student—to compete. A spokesman for Brown denies that her reasoning had anything to do with the fact that the students were in the special education program, saying something about how the competition wouldn’t be authentic if the real winners bowed out. Some people take spelling really, really ceriusley. Whatever happened to just do your best?
Photo courtesy of swbrooks on Flickr