Nonbinary Teen Nex Benedict Dies After Being Attacked By Peers in a School Bathroom

Editor’s note: This story is still developing and contains descriptions of violence against a nonbinary person.

Nex Benedict, a nonbinary high school sophomore and member of the Cherokee Nation died on February 8, the day after reportedly being beaten by classmates in the bathroom of their high school in Owasso, Oklahoma.

An anonymous source who identified herself as a friend of Benedict’s mother told local news outlet KJRH that the 16-year-old was attacked by three older classmates on February 7, adding that she believed Benedict died from “complications from brain trauma.” The source claimed that although Benedict couldn’t walk to the nurse on their own following the incident, school staff did not call an ambulance. According to KJRH, Benedict’s grandmother brought the student to the hospital after the altercation.

“I know at one point, one of the girls was pretty much repeatedly beating her head across the floor,” the source told KJRH.

The Owasso Police Department (OPD) told KJRH that they were called to Bailey Medical Center on the afternoon of February 7. When they arrived, Benedict’s parents told police their child had been involved in a fight at school. OPD provided a statement saying that the cause of death has not yet been made public.

Since Benedict’s death on February 8, they have been repeatedly misgendered and deadnamed in media reports.

“As many are learning of the horrific news out of Owasso, OK, many news outlets, and therefore, many of you, are using their dead name,” the official X account for Oklahoma County Democrats wrote in a February 19 post. “Their name is Nex Benedict. They were a 4.0 student. They liked cats. They were Cherokee. They deserved to live. May they find peace now.”

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