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Owasso High School student dies after fight: What we know about Nex Benedict - cause of death, bio, age, parents, gender

Non-binary student Nex Benedict, 16, tragically passed away after being beaten by peers in their Oklahoma high school. #JusticeForNex

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old non-binary student from Owasso High School in Oklahoma, tragically passed away on February 8, 2024, after being brutally beaten by peers in a school restroom. The incident occurred on February 7, and Nex succumbed to their injuries the following day after being admitted to the hospital.

The authorities at Owasso High School reportedly did not report the incident to the police until after Nex was hospitalized. According to a police report, a school resource officer was made aware of the physical altercation only after Nex's mother reported the incident to the authorities. The police are still investigating the cause of Nex's death and are awaiting medical reports.

Nex's parents, Sue Benedict and her husband Walter, at times struggled to understand the nuances of Nex's gender fluidity. Ms. Benedict is Nex's biological grandmother, and raised them since they were two months old, along with her five other children, and formally adopted Nex a few years ago.

Nex was brutally murdered in the girl's restroom, reportedly by three older female students. The mother of Nex's best friend told KJRH News that "one of the girls was pretty much repeatedly beating [Nex's] head across the floor."

Reports say Nex was unable to take themselves to the nurse's office after a teacher finally intervened in the brutal assault, and for reasons that remain unclear, Owasso High School refused to call an ambulance for 16-year-old Nex, who died from their injuries in the hospital the next day. A motive for this killing has not been shared by law enforcement, but we know that schools in Oklahoma have been specifically pushing violent eliminationist rhetoric against transgender and non-binary youth.

Nex Benedict, who also goes by the name 'Dagny,' was described by their mother, Sue Benedict, as an animal lover. Nex had a pet cat named Zeus and was known for being tough yet a great kid. Friends and family gathered at Mowery Funeral Service Chapel on February 15 for a memorial service to honor Nex's life.

A GoFundMe fundraiser was initiated on February 10 to cover Nex's funeral expenses. The fundraiser, which raised over $27,000, highlighted the community's support and empathy towards Nex and their family during this difficult time.

The tragic death of Nex Benedict has raised questions about the safety and well-being of students, particularly those who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming. It serves as a reminder of the importance of creating a safe and inclusive environment for all students in schools.

Owasso Public Schools released a statement expressing condolences to Nex's family and stating that they are cooperating with the authorities in their investigation. The community has come together to mourn the loss of Nex Benedict and to advocate for justice in this tragic case.

Nex Benedict's story has touched the hearts of many, highlighting the importance of compassion, understanding, and acceptance for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity. As the community comes together to mourn Nex's passing, they also stand united in their commitment to ensuring a safer and more inclusive environment for all students.

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