Reaction to Spelling Bee article

Dear Editor,

In The Daily Herald of Monday, November 6, 2023, in the article regarding the annual Courtney Gibson Spelling Bee, on page 3, I believe, I should make the following observation.

In the second paragraph third line, I read “Fitzpatrick snagged the first place after correctly spelling a Guyanese word, etc.”

If I am not mistaken the young man Fitzpatrick is of Guyanese descent/heritage, the other contestant is of Indian descent/heritage, I think.

The finalists were presented with new words that were not previously given to the spellers. The young Fitzpatrick won after correctly spelling the Guyanese word in the final round.

This doesn’t sound right to me and in my opinion, furthermore opens up possibilities of more controversy in future.

If the word is described as a “Guyanese word”, my assumption is that the word is a creole word. Since it may have been a word specific to one culture or heritage background, I do not think it should be in a Spelling Bee. To be more specific, a word specifically tied to a specific culture or heritage should not be in this Spelling Bee that is open to all children on St. Maarten.

I appreciate the effort put forward by the committee to have this annual Spelling Bee, but I have to voice my disagreement and disappointment with the outcome of the Spelling Bee Contest.

Oldine Bryson Pantophlet

The Daily Herald

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