Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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Nonbinary Teen Nex Benedict Died By Suicide, Medical Examiner Finds

Huffpost:Benedict died a day after they were assaulted in a school bathroom. Reports of their case fueled outrage among LGBTQ groups and advocates.

Nex Benedict

Medical examiners ruled on Wednesday that Nex Benedict, a nonbinary Oklahoma student assaulted in a school bathroom, died by suicide last month.

The state medical examiner’s report found the 16-year-old died from toxicity of two drugs, an antihistamine and an antidepressant, according to multiple media outlets.

On Feb. 7, Benedict was assaulted by their peers in an Owasso High School bathroom. All of the students involved in the fight “walked under their own power” to see the school nurse and assistant principal, according to police. Benedict, who received a suspension, was treated at a hospital. The next day, they collapsed in their living room and were rushed to the hospital, where they later died.

Owasso police claimed in February that Benedict did not die from the trauma sustained in the Feb. 7 attack. But the student’s family said that they would conduct their own independent investigation into the death.

Benedict’s family, the Owasso Police Department and the state’s medical examiner’s office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Benedict, who was nonbinary, had been bullied for a year, the Independent reported. The bullying began shortly after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a law requiring students to use bathrooms that align with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

Benedict’s death sparked outrage from LGBTQ activists and organizations, as conservative lawmakers continue to introduce anti-LGBTQ bills in states nationwide. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 478 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this legislative session so far, following the over 500 bills that were introduced in 2023.

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