Justice for Nex Benedict: Transgender Children Deserve to Live Safe, Full Lives

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: Oklahoma State Legislature, Oklahoma Department of Education

In the shadow of a profound tragedy that claimed the life of Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old high school sophomore who excelled in school, enjoyed Minecraft, and loved animals, our community confronts a stark reality. Nex, who identified within the Two Spirit, transgender, and gender nonconforming umbrella, was a beacon of light and potential extinguished far too soon due to violence stemming from ignorance and hate.

This horrific act didn't happen in a bubble. Nex was attacked in a school district previously targeted by Libs of TikTok's Chaya Raichik, whose anti-LGBTQ posts have been linked to nearly three dozen threats made towards schools, libraries, hospitals and businesses across 16 states. Raichik now sits on the statewide library advisory board. 

Sign the petition to demand an immediate resignation of Chaya Raichik from the statewide library advisory board and comprehensive legislative action by the Oklahoma State Legislature to protect all students, particularly those from the LGBTQ+ community.

Attitudes towards LGBTQ+ children in the Oklahoma school system have become downright dangerous. Oklahoma's top education official, Secretary of Public Instruction Ryan Walters, has instituted a number of policies targeting trans and non-binary students. Only after right-wing extremist Raichik repeatedly targeted students and teachers in the same Oklahoma school district that Nex attended did Walters appoint her to the state's Library Media Advisory Committee. This is a clear threat to children's safety in the state, and has tragically resulted in the death of a child. Nex deserved better.

Nex's story is a harrowing reminder of the dangers faced by transgender and gender nonconforming youth in our schools. The attack that led to Nex's death occurred in an environment that should have been safe and nurturing. This tragic event underscores the urgent need for systemic change to ensure every student's safety and well-being, regardless of gender identity.

Let's transform our grief into action. Together, we can advocate for a future where schools are safe havens for all students, free from fear and violence. We must dismantle the structures that allow hate to thrive and build a more inclusive, compassionate community in honor of Nex's memory.

Sign the petition to demand Raichik resign from her position for inciting hate, and demand the state legislature take immediate action to protect its students in the LGBTQ+ community.

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