Image: Sue Benedict/AP

Classmates of Nex Benedict stage walkout in protest of teens bullying

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old student who identified as non-binary and used they/them pronouns, died on February 8 after a “physical altercation” with classmates in the bathroom of Owasso High School.  

 The following day, Nex collapsed at home, after which they were transported to the St. Francis Pediatric Emergency Room, where they were later pronounced dead.

Dozens of students at Owasso High School walked out in a peaceful demonstration on Monday to in support for the LGBTQ+ community after the death of a non-binary teenager as well as the school's bullying policies. 

Benedict’s mother, Sue Benedict, said in an interview with the Independent that her child had faced bullying by other students over their gender identity.



Nex Benedict's death comes after Oklahoma govenor Kevin Stitt, signed a bill prohibiting transgender public school students from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

Released body camera footage later released by police showed Benedict describing the altercation with three girls who were picking on them and some friends.

 In the interview, Nex says that he was stacking chairs in the cafeteria with a friend when the group of girls started making fun of their laugh. Nex said they then poured water from a plastic bottle onto the girls and then “they came at me,” the teen recalled.

“They grabbed on my hair, I grabbed onto them, I threw one of them into a paper towel dispenser and then they got my legs out from under me and got me on the ground,” Nex told the officer.

Then they “Started beating the shit out of me. And then my friend’s trying to jump in, help, but I’m not sure, I blacked out.”



On February 21, OPD issued a statement saying that preliminary information from the medical examiner’s office indicated that Nex “did not die as a result of trauma.”

Over the past few weeks, various vigils and memorials have helped keep Nex’s memory alive throughout the local community and across the nation.  Most of them were organized by LGBTQ+ organizations to help honor Benedict. 

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