Nonbinary Oklahoma Teen Beaten By Classmates

The Seattle Times

Lex Valluzzi, Staff Writer

Last month, the effects of bullying and violence took its toll on 16-year-old nonbinary student Nex Benedict (pronouns they/he) when attacked at their high school bathroom, shocking the LGBTQ community. 

On Feb. 7, Benedict and their friend had entered the girl’s bathroom in Owasso High School in Oklahoma only to be confronted by three girls. Benedict had reported previous bullying due to their gender identity while attending school. The three girls were stated to have verbally assaulted Benedict, to which they retaliated by throwing water at the girls. The  incident further escalated when the three girls attacked Benedict. “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,” Benedict recalled the incident.  

The fight was broken up by students and faculty after Benedict blacked out on the bathroom  floor. The school did not call an ambulance. Instead, Benedict was escorted to the school nurse  and the principal’s office before promptly being suspended from school for two weeks.  

Later that day, Benedict’s adoptive mother, Sue Benedict, reported to have taken Benedict to Bailey Medical Center after the assault, where the police questioned Benedict about their attack. The police have since released the body camera footage of the interview conducted at the hospital, the school security footage from the bathroom, and the 911 call made by Sue Benedict. The Benedict family also stated that there are facts not made available to the public. 

After being questioned, police suggested to Benedict’s mother not to press charges against the attackers because the fight could be viewed by the court as Benedict’s fault for instigating the fight. Benedict was examined by doctors before being discharged from the hospital that same day.  

The next day, things took a turn for the worse. Benedict reported a bad headache and their eyes kept rolling back into their head. Benedict was rushed to the hospital where they were officially pronounced dead at the hospital in the evening.  

The Owasso Police Department is currently leading a formal investigation of the events that led up to the death of Nex Benedict. The cause of death is reportedly unknown, and police are waiting for the results of the autopsy and toxicology reports before any of the attackers may be charged. 

The death of Nex Benedict has caused massive uproar in the LGBT community all over the  United States. On Feb. 26, Owasso High School held a peaceful walkout in honor of  Benedict. This is the first of many vigils that have been held on behalf of Benedict. Most 

notably, a vigil was held at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on Feb. 27. Stonewall is a  historic sight in LGBT history and is most notable for the Stonewall riots in 1969 that marked  the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States. The LGBT community has  shown that they stand in solidarity with the Benedict family. In closing words, may Nex Benedict rest in peace.


  1. My 3 children graduated from Owasso Public schools. I feel the far right governor and state superintendent is largely to blame for this. They want to rewrite how history is and about how everyone is male or female. There is no LGBT community in existence to them. This is a dangerous position to take. We are not in the 1920’s. We are in the 2020’s so catch up and be in today’s world

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