updated 2/8/2006 9:52:27 PM ET 2006-02-09T02:52:27

She spelled it right. The judge said it was wrong. And she’s not getting a second chance.

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Eighth-grader Sara Beckman spelled “discernible” correctly during a spelling bee Tuesday at the University of Nevada, Reno. But the judge rang the bell anyway.

Her parents are furious, but organizers say they had to protest the call immediately. They say they waited until the bee was over to avoid interrupting.

A school spokesman likened it to a referee’s call in an NFL game. The protest has to come before the next play starts.

Sara said she’d just like another chance, since it’s her last spelling bee.

Her mother, Cindy, calls herself a “momma bear with her bear claws out” and is ready to go to court.

The school spokesman said he hopes everybody can sit down together and work something out. He says defending a lawsuit over a spelling bee isn’t a good way to spend school district money.

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