The Aftermath of Oklahoma Teen Death


Lex Valluzzi, Staff Writer

The LGBT community was outraged several weeks ago when 16-year-old nonbinary student, Nex Benedict was beaten up in the bathroom by a group of girls at Owasso Public High School. Benedict then died the following day in the hospital.

 As of this week, there have been several updates regarding the case and the actual cause of death of Benedict has been released. Large organizations such as The U.S. Department of  Education, The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and even President  Biden have been sharing their condolences with the Benedict family. 

Last Thursday, Mar. 21, the medical examiner for the case had released Benedict’s autopsy report and which entailed that Benedict’s cause of death was determined to be a suicide by drug overdose. It was originally thought to have been a head trauma from the fight at Benedict’s school. The specific drugs of the overdose has not been made public. Police have also made it known that they found notes thatBenedict wrote that have implied suicidal thoughts.  

Benedict’s mother stated that she didn’t know how bad it had gotten for her child. Before Benedict’s death, they had told police that they have been experiencing bullying by the girls for over a year for their gender identity. Benedict had been struggling in school since Oklahoma’s governor banned transgender  and nonbinary students from using bathrooms that are different from their gender assigned at birth.  

Updates on the legal case have been made as well. Prosecutors from Oklahoma have  announced that there will be no charges pressed against any participants in the school fight. The  district attorney stated that the fight was “an instance of mutual combat” therefore no charges  needed to be pressed. This decision has faced a lot of backlash in the past few days, specifically from GLAAD and The Trevor Project believing they failed Nex Benedict. 

There has been a lot of skepticism about the autopsy report that was released. As it was stated that Benedict had sustained severe lacerations on their head, neck, and torso. The Owasso Police Department have stated that they knew about the suicidal evidence since the beginning of the case, but didn’t want to release the official cause of death without a confirmation from the medical examiner.  

Due to the participants in the fight going unpunished, a series of walkouts have been staged at Owasso High School held in Benedict’s name. LGBT activists have been speaking out about how bullying affects the lives of queer students. The Trevor Project, an LGBT suicide prevention organization, has released some statistics about how 40% of LGBT people consider suicide. Making nonbinary and trangender people more at risk.  

The LGBT and Owasso High School community have suffered a massive loss with the death of fellow student Nex Benedict. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or chat live at

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