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Medical Examiner: Nex Benedict, Oklahoma nonbinary teen, died by suicide

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  • Digital Team 

A medical examiner’s report revealed on Wednesday that Nex Benedict, the 16-year-old student from Oklahoma, died by suicide one day following an altercation in a high school restroom.

The report attributed Benedict’s death to the combined toxicity of two medications. Benedict, who identified as nonbinary and preferred they/them pronouns, was involved in a physical altercation in the girls’ bathroom at Owasso High School the day before their passing.

Nex Benedict, 16, died one day after a physical altercation with other students in their Oklahoma school. Photo courtesy Sue Benedict.

The Owasso Police Department, in a statement, acknowledged early indications suggesting suicide as the cause of death, but awaited the final determination from the Oklahoma Medical Examiners Office before confirming.

During the altercation, Benedict was sent to the hospital by a school nurse after reporting harassment by three girls, which led to the scuffle initiated by Benedict throwing water at the girls. Recorded police interactions revealed Benedict’s assertion that the altercation stemmed from their manner of dress.

Following the incident, Benedict’s mother summoned emergency responders to their home, reporting shallow breathing and other concerning symptoms. However, a preliminary autopsy report concluded that Benedict’s demise was not a result of injuries sustained during the fight.

Dr. Margaret Coates, superintendent of Owasso Public Schools, expressed profound sorrow over Benedict’s passing and reaffirmed the district’s commitment to the safety and well-being of its students and staff.

In the wake of Benedict’s death, communities across the United States held rallies and vigils, highlighting the ongoing challenges and persecution faced by the LGBTQ+ community. The incident has reignited discussions surrounding mental health and the need for support systems.

For individuals experiencing emotional distress or contemplating suicide, assistance is available through the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, reachable via call, text, or chat. Additional mental health resources and support can be obtained from The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine.

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