Owasso, Oklahoma (NewsFirst) — Nex Benedict, aged 16, identified as nonbinary and used they/them pronouns. They lived in Oklahoma and attended Owasso High School. Tragically, Nex suffered a severe beating in a school bathroom on February 7th and 8th, leading to their untimely death in the hospital the following day. They were in their sophomore year.

Reports indicate that Nex was attacked by three older girls in the bathroom, where one of them repeatedly slammed Nex’s head against the floor. A teacher intervened, but Nex was unable to walk to the nurse’s station independently, and astonishingly, staff didn’t call an ambulance. Nex’s grandmother, with whom they primarily lived, took them to the hospital after the altercation. Despite being released that evening, Nex’s condition worsened, and they passed away the next day.

Local authorities are investigating the incident, but details remain unclear, including the school’s policies on violence, the exact sequence of events, and the motive behind the assault. While it’s unknown if Nex’s nonbinary identity was a factor in the attack, it’s sadly common for individuals like Nex to face bullying and abuse due to their gender identity.

Nex was born on January 11, 2008, in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in Owasso. They had a passion for nature, enjoyed caring for their cat Zeus, and engaged in activities like watching television shows, drawing, reading, and playing video games. Described as a straight-A student, Nex also loved cooking and creating their own recipes.

Funeral services were held on February 15, 2024, at the Mowery Funeral Service Chapel in Owasso. Despite the obituary referring to Nex using she/her pronouns, they identified as nonbinary.

Questions arise about the school’s response to the violence and the failure to provide immediate medical attention or involve law enforcement. The district’s statement expressed condolences but provided little information. The lack of media attention and misgendering of Nex in reports highlight broader issues of violence against transgender and nonbinary individuals being overlooked or misrepresented in the media.

As the public focuses on other news stories, Nex’s tragic death serves as a sobering reminder of the dangers faced by transgender and nonbinary youth and the urgent need for justice and accountability.

Incidents of hate crimes has dramatically increased over the past several years, because of political rhetoric.