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  • Leila Lucas

What Really Happened to Nex Benedict?

You’ve been having a hard day at school, and it’s not getting easier. People have already been bullying you because of the way you walk, talk, dress, and present. You walk into the bathroom for a reprieve, but find yourself cornered by a group of three people. They’re not friendly. Words are exchanged, things happen, and you end up lying unconscious on the floor. In the bathroom. You’re sixteen years old. This may be a difficult and seemingly impossible situation for any one of us to imagine, but this was the reality for sixteen year-old, nonbinary teen Nex Benedict only one day prior to their death. 


Nex Benedict, a student of Owasso High School in Oklahoma, died on February 8, 2024, after an altercation in the girls bathroom at their high school. The autopsy revealed that their cause of death was suicide, as they reportedly collapsed the day after the incident. According to their mother, Sue Benedict, Nex had been bullied for a year preceding their death, the actions only exacerbated by anti-trans legislation. According to Nex, they and their friends were accosted by three girls in the bathroom. They were bullied, with the girls making fun of their laughter and clothing. Nex said, in an interview released after their death, that “we were laughing, and they had said something like, ‘Why do they laugh like that?’ They were talking about us in front of us.” The girls then lunged toward Nex, resulting in them falling to the ground and hitting their head. Nex went to the school nurse, but it was determined that an ambulance was not needed, but further medical examination was. 



On February 7, Nex’s mother Sue rushed them to the hospital for examination. The teen was supposedly able to walk on their own, but injuries were found on their neck, head, and torso. Sue Benedict was urged not to press charges by local police officers, and the two went back to their home, seemingly fine. However, the next day, Nex collapsed to the ground, and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Although the cause of their death remained unknown for almost

a month, the autopsy report states that Nex’s death was due to a suicide, and that they had consumed multiple medications in overdosage amounts. Notes have also been found, but their contents have not been released. 


The family is still mourning the loss of Nex, but the teen’s death has been the cause of numerous protests, vigils, and increased advocacy against legislation regarding trans teenagers, as well as more research on the issue of LGBTQ+ suicide. According to a report by the Trevor Project, suicide is the second largest cause of death for teens, and LGBTQ+ teens are four times likelier to be at risk. As of the moment, the Owasso High School is under scrutiny for their handling of the situation, as well as gender based discrimination and their inability to protect their students.



 

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