Home » Vigil held for non-binary teenager from Oklahoma who died after altercation at school

Vigil held for non-binary teenager from Oklahoma who died after altercation at school

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Vigil held for non-binary teenager from Oklahoma who died after altercation at school

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — More than two dozen people gathered at an Oklahoma church for the vigil of Nex Benedict, a nonbinary teenager who died a day after an altercation in his school bathroom secondary.

The vigil at the McAlester church was called by the organization McAlester Rainbow Connection. It was one of two vigils held Friday night in Oklahoma, and the first of more than a dozen that are planned across the country through Monday.

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old student from Oklahoma, died a day after being involved in an altercation in a bathroom at Owasso High School.

Benedict identified as non-binary and preferred a gender-neutral pronoun. Three girls, who were harassing Benedict and some of his friends, attacked the teens for pouring water on them, according to what Benedict told police in a video released Friday.

Benedict’s mother called the emergency number to have first responders come to her house a day after the dispute, noting that the teenager’s breathing was labored, that his eyes were blank and his hands were curled, according to the audio also released by Owasso police.

Priest Janie Koch said it’s important for people to reach out for support. “It is very important that we take care of each other, that we are aware of each other.”

In the call to police, Benedict’s mother, Sue Benedict, said she wanted to press charges. In the hospital video, the officer who responded to the call can be heard explaining that the teenager started the altercation by throwing the water and that the court would consider it a fight.

According to a police search warrant, Benedict’s mother indicated to police on Feb. 7 that she did not want to press charges at that time. In her place, she asked police to speak with officials at Owasso High School about problems on campus among students.

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