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 February 23, 2024

White House calls nonbinary teen's death a "tragic loss" that "feels personal" even as the circumstances remain under investigation

A White House spokesperson said the "tragic loss" of nonbinary high school student Nex Benedict "feels personal," KOCO-TV reported. Initial reports said the 16-year-old died following a fight at school, but that may not be the case.

"Violence in our nation’s schools is unacceptable. School should be a place where every child, no matter who they are or how they express themselves, feels safe and supported," the spokesperson said of Benedict's death in a statement.

Benedict was involved in an altercation with fellow students on Feb. 7 at Owasso High School in Oklahoma. The victim sought treatment on the afternoon of the fight and was released but died the next day.

"Our hearts are with Nex Benedict’s family, their friends, and the entire school community. We know for so many LGBTQI+ students across the country, who already have to face bullying and attacks on their rights, that this tragic loss feels personal," the statement said.

The Student's Final Days

The New York Post reported that the high school sophomore was bullied by three older girls for more than a year, according to the mother. Benedict came home with a bruised face and body the day before passing away.

"They had been bullying me and my friends and I got tired of it so I poured some water on them and all 3 came after me. School did not report it and is probably getting sued," the teen described the fight in a text.

The Oklahoma sophomore died on Feb. 8, a day after getting into a physical struggle that may have been sparked by bullying about Benedict’s gender identity. However, preliminary autopsy results said that Benedict did not die from injuries sustained in that fight.

The family is asking law enforcement to follow up on "all potentially liable parties to do so fully, fairly and expediently" through a statement from attorneys. "The family is independently interviewing witnesses and collecting all available evidence," the statement said.

While it's true that the student sustained injuries during the fight, there is still much that is unknown about the cause and manner of Benedict's death. Police promise toxicology and other reports are in the works and that the "official autopsy report will be available at a later date."

Activists Pounce

The death of a young person is tragic enough, but opportunists couldn't help themselves when it came to Benedict's death. Many took to social media to blame Chaya Raichik, who runs the social media account "Libs of TikTok," The Oklahoman reported.

Raichik simply shares videos of leftists speaking about their controversial views, which sometimes results in them getting punished. This is what happened to Owasso teacher Tyler Wrynn, who bragged about encouraging students who were gender-confused to defy their parents in an undercover video.

According to Benedict's mother, this was something that stuck with the now-deceased student. "They’re allowing the students to be who they are," the mother said, disputing the claim the teacher was doing something harmful and nefarious.

It is true that bullying is disturbing and damaging to students no matter what the cause. However, it is also true that sometimes activists are far too eager to manipulate the public with a narrative before all of the facts are in.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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