Home » Death of 16-year-old Nex Benedict in Oklahoma after school fight prompts LGBTQ+ advocates to seek answers

Death of 16-year-old Nex Benedict in Oklahoma after school fight prompts LGBTQ+ advocates to seek answers

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Death of 16-year-old Nex Benedict in Oklahoma after school fight prompts LGBTQ+ advocates to seek answers

Oklahoma Teen Dies After School Fight

A tragic loss has struck Owasso High School in Oklahoma following a deadly altercation involving a 16-year-old student. Nex Benedict, who was said to identify as nonbinary, died on February 8 after a fight with three older girls at the school which resulted in Nex hitting their head on the floor.

Sue Benedict, Nex’s grandmother and guardian, stated that Nex had been a victim of bullying at school. Benedict told The Independent that she was unaware of the severity of the bullying, adding, “I told him, ‘You have to be strong and look the other way, because these people don’t know who you are.'”

Preliminary autopsy information indicates that Nex did not die as a result of trauma, raising questions about the cause of death. The police have confirmed that they are withholding further comment until toxicology results and other tests are received.

According to family members, Nex used neutral pronouns and did not identify as a man or a woman, emphasizing the importance of respecting gender identity. The deceased student’s family has noted that the alleged harassment they faced is reflective of a hostile environment against the LGBTQ+ community.

Alarming text messages shared by a family member with CNN affiliate KOKI suggest that Nex had experienced ongoing harassment at the school. Nex disclosed being attacked by three individuals after an earlier incident, which resulted in a fight. The text exchange also revealed that Nex had sought medical attention for potential injuries resulting from the altercation.

The tragic event has reignited criticism of Oklahoma officials’ treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. A controversial bathroom bill passed in the state legislature in 2022 and a subsequent executive order from Governor Kevin Stitt have raised concerns about the welfare of LGBTQ+ students in Oklahoma.

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The Owasso School District responded to the incident on Tuesday, acknowledging a “physical altercation” in a bathroom. A staff member and other students intervened but the district did not summon emergency medical services. The district has faced scrutiny for withholding specific details due to privacy laws, sparking demands from advocacy groups for a transparent investigation.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt expressed condolences and emphasized the importance of holding those responsible for the bullying accountable. The community and LGBTQ+ advocates are urging for a thorough investigation and increased support for the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ students in Oklahoma.

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