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HomeGeneralAuthorities Claim Oklahoma Nonbinary Student Didn't Die From School Fight

Authorities Claim Oklahoma Nonbinary Student Didn’t Die From School Fight

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A Non-Binary Student
Source: 5News/YouTube

Authorities have made a statement to dismiss rumors that 16-year-old Nex Benedict’s death was directly a result of a school altercation. The death of the nonbinary student occurred one day after the student was involved in a physical altercation with other students.

The altercation was between Nex, a transgender student, and three older girls. According to her family, after the altercation on February 7, Nex managed to leave the bathroom on their own accord. However, they took them to a hospital and were discharged later that night. 

The following day, paramedics responded to a medical emergency at Benedict’s home and transported them to the hospital emergency room. Sadly, Nex passed away later at the hospital, as confirmed by the police. Sue Benedict told The Independent that Nex had bruises on their face and eyes. “I didn’t know how bad it had gotten,” Sue Benedict told the outlet.

Officials say they are investigating the incident and will interview school staff and students “over the next two weeks.” The findings will then be submitted to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution review.

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In an update, Owasso Police provided information on the ongoing investigation. They stated that a thorough autopsy had been conducted on the student by the medical examiner. According to the police, the results of the autopsy did not suggest that Nex’s death was a consequence of trauma.

“Preliminary information from the medical examiner’s office is that a complete autopsy was performed and indicated that the decedent did not die as a result of trauma,” Owasso police said in a statement on Facebook.

The police noted, “Further comments on the cause of death are currently pending until toxicology results and other ancillary testing results are received.” The official autopsy report will be released later, police added.

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Sue Benedict, the student’s mother, disclosed to The Independent that Nex and another student had engaged in a confrontation with three older girls in the bathroom. She said Nex was constantly harassed and bullied by other students because of her non-binary identity. 

She revealed that the bullying Nex endured came because of the state’s legislative policies that specifically targeted the transgender and nonbinary communities. In recent years, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has signed bills that mandated students to use bathrooms that match their sex assigned at birth. 

Additionally, the state banned the use of nonbinary gender markers on IDs. They also limited access to gender-affirming care and prohibited transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports. These bills were signed, citing safety concerns and interest in maintaining fairness.

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In a statement on the school’s website, school officials said: “Students were in the restroom for less than two minutes, and the physical altercation was broken up by other students who were present in the restroom at the time, along with a staff member who was supervising outside of the restroom.”

Local LGBTQ groups are demanding accountability for those who have spread anti-transgender messages. They believe these messages might have fueled the aggression towards Nex and the other students. 

“The assault on Nex is an inevitable result of the hateful rhetoric and discriminatory legislation targeting Oklahoma trans youth,” said groups Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Oklahoma in a joint statement.

“We are deeply troubled by reports the school failed to respond appropriately to the altercation that preceded Nex’s death and demand a thorough, open investigation into the matter,” the statement read.

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