An Owasso High School graduate is exposing anti-LGBTQ+ bullying after Nex Benedict's death

Nex Benedict non binary two spirit transgender student bullied beaten classmates lgbtq teen suicide Owasso High School
Nex Benedict non binary two spirit transgender student bullied beaten classmates lgbtq teen suicide Owasso High School

A graduate of Owasso High School is accusing the administration of failing to prevent bullying in the wake of transgender Indigenous teen Nex Benedict's death.

Marley H., who graduated in 2022, joined the Human Rights Campaign for a new paid advertisement that is shining a light on the use of anti-LGBTQ+ slurs, harassment, and the teachers and administrators at the school who refused to step in.

“It hurts to know that not only do your teachers personally not support you, if a student bullies you or harasses you or calls you names, they aren’t going to do anything about it,” she said. “It promotes a culture where you feel like you shouldn’t report issues.”

Benedict, 16, had reported being bullied for months before he was involved in a physical confrontation in a school restroom with three older girls February 7. The teen told law enforcement that the girls "jumped" him and his friend “because of the way that we dressed." Benedict then died February 8 after being transported to a hospital following a medical emergency at home.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Oklahoma determined Benedict died by suicide, and Tulsa County District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler declined to file charges, sparking outrage among community members.

Oklahoma education Superintendent Ryan Walters drew further condemnation when he refused to address Benedict by name and insisted, against medical consensus, that there are “not multiple genders.” Walters also appointed Chaya Raichik, the right-wing extremist behind the anti-LGBTQ+ Libs of TikTok account, to a state board overseeing library materials in public schools just months before Benedict's death.

“We are seeing this ‘trickle-down effect’ where we elect people that spew this rhetoric, and even pass [anti-LGBTQ+] legislation… and then those parents in the community see this on the news, and then they talk about it in the home," Marley H. continued in the video. "That rhetoric that is being passed down from our elected officials to our parents to our children then affects entire school districts.”

Watch the full video below.

Owasso High School Grad Speaks Out on "Culture Where You Feel Like You Shouldn’t Report Issues"