KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Scripps National Spelling Bee announced Tuesday it would allow northwest Missouri's top speller to participate in the national competition, even though she was disqualified last week.
"After further consideration, we've determined that Morgan Brown is eligible to compete in the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.," said Paige Kimble, director of the bee.
Morgan, 12, the first-place winner of the regional competition this month, was disqualified because her school did not enroll her according to a new rule requiring individual schools, rather than school districts, to register directly with the national bee.
Kimble, who said earlier Tuesday that Morgan's disqualification would not change, said bee officials changed their minds after a "thorough review."
Morgan said that when she first found out that she would be allowed to compete, it was something of a shock.
"My mom and I just jumped up and down and screamed," she said, adding that she had never completely given up.
"I was still holding out hope," Morgan said.
The problem arose because Morgan's school was registered as North Platte R-1 and should have been listed under the new rules as North Platte Junior High.
Diane Goold, the Newspapers in Education director for the St. Joseph News-Press, which sponsors the regional competition, said that for next year's contest she intends to be more vigilant as the applications start rolling in.
"My radar is going to be way up on getting these schools registered," she said. "And hopefully their radar will be up, and the bee will make sure that their communication is understood and everybody will be on the same page."
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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.