Investigate the death of nonbinary teen Nex Benedict as a hate crime!

  • par: OD Action
  • destinataire: Department of Justice

People around the country are holding vigils and mourning the loss of nonbinary student Nex Benedict, who died after sustaining a head injury during a fight in the school bathroom.

From the outset, the school administration and its notoriously bigoted superintendent Ryan Walters mismanaged and neglected their responsibility to protect their student. The school neither called an ambulance nor the police and instead chose to suspend Benedict for their "role" in the altercation — which took place in a bathroom, the focus of state anti-LGBTQ discrimination and transphobia.

Investigate the death of Nex Benedict as a hate crime!

Benedict told the school that three girls had mocked her "because of the way we dressed" and made fun of their laugh, prompting Benedict to throw a cup of water at them. The girls then assaulted Benedict, who said they were beaten on the ground before they "blacked out". Benedict died the next day.

Advocacy group Freedom Oklahoma said that members of the LGBT community had been receiving increased hostility "fuelled by state law and the rhetoric around it, words and actions of our state elected officials." Ryan Walters called their death a "tragedy" but took the opportunity to repeat his transphobic views.

It's clear that there needs to be a full investigation into this entirely preventable attack on a nonbinary student — and EVERYONE needs to be held accountable, from the bullies who assaulted Benedict to the public officials who fan the flames of LGBT hate.

Investigate the death of Nex Benedict as a hate crime!

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