Sally Benton is a minor character in the third season of the Freeform series, The Fosters. She makes her first appearance in Mixed Messages. Sally is the student body president and a representative of the Honor Board at Anchor Beach Community Charter School. She invited Mariana to join the Honor Board after losing the election for junior class president. Sally became close with Principal Monte Porter due to the latter's support of her senior project, though this mentorship soon lead to romantic feelings on Sally's side.
Sally is portrayed by Pepi Sonuga.
Sally Benton was born into a very conservative household, with traditional values. Her parents instilled in her the drive to be and achieve the best, both academically and socially. Sally's parents pushed her to be the ideal student and woman by taking AP classes, having a good social circle and boyfriend, and keeping up a respectable image.
Unbeknownst to anyone, Sally was attracted to girls and wanted to date them. However, she had to repress these feelings to please her parents. It wasn't until she was a senior at Anchor Beach Community Charter School that Sally downloaded a dating app in the hopes of finding a girlfriend.
In "EQ", Sally tearfully claimed to Vice President Lena Adams Foster that the principal, Monte Porter, kissed her. However, it was revealed in "Sixteen" that Sally was the one who tried to kiss Monte, who turned her down. Sally hid this because she was afraid of being herself versus being who her parents wanted her to be.
Sally is a bright, pretty African-American girl with dark, curly hair. She dresses in colorful, girly, yet casual clothing. In "Sixteen", before Lena discovers Sally is hiding her own secret, Stef makes a comment about Monte "having a type", meaning that Sally and Lena are similar in appearance.
Sally approaches Mariana after the election and tells her that she thought Mariana should have won over Lexi. Mariana thanks her and Sally asks if Mariana would be a part of her administration as Chairwoman of the Honor Board. Mariana happily agrees and they hug.
In the principal's office, Sally is presenting the student council's community outreach program's latest project to Lena Adams Foster and Monte Porter. She proposes that they take a space in City Heights and turn it into a park and a community garden. Monte is impressed with the idea. Sally also asks that if she oversees the design and execution of the project, it could also be her senior thesis. Monte agrees, but Lena points out that is against the rules because the school funds the outreach program, so it could be perceived that they are funding her thesis. Sally is disappointed but agrees to think of something else. However, Monte suggests that Sally can get the materials for the project donated, and Lena agrees that could work. Sally is enthusiastic about Monte's suggestion and thanks her.
The next day, Monte and Sally are in Lena's office, where Sally reveals to Lena that they have successfully gotten all the materials donated thanks to Monte. When Lena wonders about Monte's involvement, Sally explains that Monte came with her to the garden store and "worked her magic on them". Sally asks Lena if this can be her thesis now, and Lena gives her permission. Excited, Sally thanks Monte again.
Sally led a campaign to prevent Brandon Foster's senior thesis, a rock opera remake of Romeo and Juliet, from being presented at Anchor Beach due to concerns about the play glorifying teen suicide. In the hallways, Brandon finds a petition for the campaign with Sally's signature on the wall. He confronts Sally over this and rips up the paper, telling her that is what he thinks of the petition. Brandon angrily states that no one thinks suicide is "sexy", to which Sally retorts that teen suicide is a real problem and Brandon is glamorizing it through his play, R+J. Brandon points out that the play is a Shakespeare work, which is done in schools more than any other play in history. Sally protests that doesn't mean it's right; she confides in Brandon how last summer, her best friend's sister committed suicide by hanging after the girl's boyfriend broke up with her. Sally walks away, telling Brandon it's not over just because he ripped up the petition.
The next day, the student council gathers in a classroom to listen to Sally and Brandon's cases regarding R+J. Sally recuses herself and Mariana from voting. She delivers a passionate case about how suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people because of intense negative feelings and pressure. Sally voices her belief that Romeo and Juliet romanticizes suicide as a way for couples to be together forever, and that idealization is not a good message to send teenagers. After Brandon delivers his equally passionate case, the honor board votes 2 to 1 in Sally's favor.
The next day, Sally is walking tearfully through the halls, ignoring Brandon when he tells her not to worry and that the play will be held off-campus. She enters Lena's office and Lena closes the door upon realizing how upset Sally is. Sally explains that it is really hard for her to say this. She claims to Lena through tears that Monte kissed her.
Sally and her parents are having a meeting with Lena. Lena explains the protocol for this situation, which is that Monte and Sally will go in front of the school board separately to tell their sides of the story. Sally's parents react defensively, asking what Monte says happened. Lena reveals that Monte claimed Sally initiated the kiss, which she refused. Sally immediately denies this. Her parents protest the possibility by citing that Sally has a boyfriend while Monte is a self-described bisexual. Lena asks where they got that idea and Sally's mother reveals they found Monte's dating profile on some website "soliciting" men and women. Lena corrects them that the term is seeking, not "soliciting". Sally's parents tell Lena they refuse to go in front of any board, unwilling to hurt their daughter's reputation, and want to see Monte fired. Sally mostly remained quiet after her denial.
Sally attends Mariana and Jesus' joint 16th birthday party. During the event, Sally is seen dancing very intimately with another girl, though she stops once realizing what she is doing. A bit later, Lena approaches Sally, who explains that she's about to leave the party early to finish some homework. Lena notes how Sally's parents expect a lot from her and want their daughter to be the best she can be in their eyes, but that makes it difficult for Sally to be who she truly is. Lena urges Sally to not be ashamed and that she should be proud of her identity; Lena voices her realization that Sally would've had to been registered on the dating site as a woman looking for a woman herself in order to have found Monte's dating profile. Sally begins to cry and pleads Lena not to tell her mother. Lena gently points out this lie could ruin Monte's life and reputation and tries to convince Sally to tell the truth of what happened.
At the meeting with the school board, Sally appears with her mother. Sally nervously confirms Monte's statement that she initiated the kiss, but twists the story; she claims Monte asked the former to kiss her in exchange for writing Sally a recommendation letter to Brown University. Sally further lies that Monte was always flirting with and complimenting her. Knowing Sally is being pressured by her parents, Lena protests that was not what she told her at Mariana and Jesus' birthday party. Sally's mother becomes upset and claims Lena cornered Sally to try and convince her daughter that she was gay to protect Monte, believing Lena and Monte are lovers. Sally remained silent after her story.Ultimately, the school board chose to believe Monte's side of the story. It is unknown if Sally faced any consequences for her advances towards Monte.
Season 3 (6/20)
"Those guys at the garden store had no chance once Monte started working her magic on them."
"Suicide is a real tragedy, Brandon. Not just some dumb way to end a play. And don't think this is over just 'cause you ripped up a piece of paper, okay? There's a lot more where that came from."
"Monte kissed me."