Owasso Police Start Investigation into Student’s Death After School Bathroom Fight

The Owasso Police Department is looking into the death of a 16-year-old student one day after a dispute in the school toilet.

The youngster, identified by the family as Dagny Benedict died on February 8 after an argument at Owasso High School on February 7. Benedict’s specific cause of death remains unknown at this time.

Sue, Benedict’s mother, told The Independent that she was summoned to the school when her child and a transgender buddy got into a fight with three older children in the girls’ restroom.

According to the Owasso Police Department, the teenager’s dad phoned officers at Bailey Medical Center at approximately 3:30 p.m. on February 7. The parent informed cops that there was a brawl at the school.

According to police, the altercation was not reported to the department until they were summoned to the hospital. A school resource officer was also dispatched to the hospital and recorded the information there.

Benedict was treated and released but then rushed back to the hospital. The pupil died the following day.

Police said they’re still not sure if the fight was related to the teen’s death.

Detectives have, are and will be interviewing school staff and students over the course of the next two weeks and in turn will be submitting our investigation to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution review.

A final cause and manner of death will be determined by the State Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Owasso Police Department offers our condolences to the family, friends, fellow students, and loved ones of the deceased student and we will do our best to discover the truth.

– OWASSO POLICE DEPARTMENT

On Tuesday, Owasso Public Schools stated KJRH.

According to the school,”Students were in the restroom for less than two (2) minutes and the physical altercation was broken up by other students who were present in the restroom at the time, along with a staff member who was supervising outside of the restroom.”

The district went on to add that all implicated pupils “walked under their own power to the assistant principal’s office and nurse’s office,” where they were assessed.

“While it was determined that ambulance service was not required, out of an abundance of caution, it was recommended to one parent that their student visit a medical facility for further examination,” spokespersons for the school stated.

The loss of a student, a member of the Ram Family and the Owasso community, is devastating. We recognize the impact that this event has had on the entire school community and it is our priority to foster an environment where everyone feels heard, supported, and safe. If there is ever a concern about student safety or well-being, please reach out to a teacher, counselor or principal at your child’s school. As we continue to mourn the loss of this student, our hearts go out to their family and they will continue to be in our prayers. We are here to support them and everyone who has been affected by this situation.

– OWASSO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

As the inquiry continues, many people are concerned about whether the student’s identification played a role in the battle and eventual death.

Owasso Police Start Investigation into Student's Death After School Bathroom Fight

Sue told The Independent that the teen had been suffering from bullying over-identification difficulties since the beginning of 2023.

Sue also told Public Radio Tulsa that the family was still learning about Nex’s gender expression and occasionally used his birth name at home, but they embraced Nex’s nonbinary identity.

“I just want my child back,” she explained.

“We want to be clear, whether Nex died as a direct result of injuries sustained in the brutal hate-motivated attack at school or not, Nex’s death is a result of being the target of physical and emotional harm because of who Nex was,” Freedom Oklahoma said in a press release. “This harm is absolutely related to the rhetoric and policies that are commonplace at the Oklahoma Legislature, the State Department of Education, and the Governor’s office, with regard to dehumanizing 2STGNC+ people.”

In 2022, Gov. Kevin Stitt enacted legislation requiring transgender public school kids to use the restroom corresponding to their gender assigned at birth.

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Last month, the Oklahoma State Board of Education established a permanent regulation prohibiting school districts from changing students’ records to suit their gender identity.

Also in January, Supt. Walters named Chaya Raichik, a New York-based former real estate agent who administers the X (previously known as Twitter) account ‘Libs of TikTok,’ to the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Library Media Advisory Committee.

Raichik has always denied a link between Benedict’s murder and a 2022 post about an Owasso High School teacher on her personal X account.

Following Benedict’s passing, there has been an outpouring of support on the internet.

According to Freedom Oklahoma, people who know Benedict want Nex to “be remembered not only for a tragic death, but for the pursuit of an authentic life.”

“Nex loved rock music, and often bonded with others over headbanging. Nex was unfailingly kind, and always searched for the best in people,” stated Freedom Oklahoma.

Chuck Hoskin Jr., Chief of the Cherokee Nation, issued a statement, saying, in part, “The death of Nex Benedict is a tragedy. As parents, the First Lady and I are heartbroken…The more we learn about Nex’s life, the more we come to know a wonderful child whose experience and identity mattered and was worth celebrating. Above all, Nex deserved to live a full life. It was cut tragically short. May Nex rest in peace.”

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond issued a statement on social media Tuesday night, writing, “As a parent and grandparent, my heart breaks for the tragic death of the Owasso student. Because investigators are still working to determine what precipitated this tragedy and the student’s cause of death, it is too early to jump to conclusions. What is clear, however, is that our children are precious and should not have to endure the cruelty of others, especially when they are in school. Bullying must not be tolerated in any form.”

Rep. Mauree Turner conducted a moment of silence on the House floor on Monday in honor of Benedict.

A candlelight service is scheduled for February 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Point A Gallery, 2124 NW 39th St., Oklahoma City, 73112.

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