Oklahoma Student Nex Benedict’s Cause Of Death Disclosed

Nex Benedict, a nonbinary Oklahoma student, died by suicide, according to the state Medical Examiner’s postmortem report.

According to a report obtained by The Independent on Wednesday, it was determined that the 16-year-old’s cause of death was suicide. The report listed the probable cause as “Diphenhydramine and Fluoxetine combined toxicity.”

Benadryl, also known as diphenhydramine, and Prozac, also known as fluoxetine, are two well-known medications.

The Owasso Police Department has officially confirmed the determination of Nex’s cause of death. In a Facebook post shared on Wednesday, the department stated, “Throughout our investigation, we noticed several signs that indicated this death was a result of suicide.”

Investigators were cautious about confirming the information until the final results were presented by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office. Recently, the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s report was released to the public.

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The Owasso Police Department is reaching out to individuals in crisis or those considering suicide, to provide information about the Oklahoma Mental Health Lifeline. If you find yourself in need, simply call or text 988 for assistance.

The family expressed their intention to conduct their own investigation into the death, stating that they found the facts surrounding the case deeply troubling.

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond expressed his heartfelt sorrow over the tragic death of Nex Benedict. He further emphasized his concerns about the role of bullying in this devastating loss, particularly with the Medical Examiner’s ruling of suicide.

According to experts, a rise in suicides among young people, especially those who are marginalized or traumatized, can be attributed to various factors such as social media and bullying.

To tackle this issue, it is crucial to enhance legislation against bullying while also prioritizing mental health services. However, the first step lies in denouncing the harshness of words and actions, which are frequently inflicted by fellow students, adults, and even algorithms, on our vulnerable younger generations.

The death of Nex has sparked widespread criticism towards Oklahoma lawmakers, who have proposed over 50 bills targeting the LGBTQ community in the current legislative session. Advocacy groups for LGBTQ rights in the state have connected Nex’s tragic demise to the increase in hateful rhetoric and the passing of anti-transgender legislation.

In late February, after Nex’s passing, over a dozen of their former classmates organized a walkout in order to protest bullying and demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community at their school.

Gathered at an intersection across from the school in the Tulsa suburbs, students and advocates proudly held signs that proclaimed messages of love and support. Some signs read, “You Are Loved” and “Protect Queer Kids,” reflecting the collective determination to create a safe and inclusive environment for all.

“There is a vibrant community present in this city, and we not only acknowledge their existence but also extend our love and support towards them,” expressed Cassidy Brown, an Owasso graduate and event organizer, in an interview with KTUL.

Across Oklahoma state, as well as in Los Angeles, New York, and Texas, nationwide vigils were held to honor Nex’s memory, coinciding with the protest.

Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, expressed her concerns, stating, “We entrust our children’s safety and well-being to schools. Nex’s tragic fate is a result of the collective failure of multiple individuals and systems. It is devastating that Nex should have been with us today.”

The tragic loss of Nex, a bright and promising teenager, has left their family devastated. It is heart-wrenching to think that they had to endure more than a year of bullying and harassment at school, culminating in a fatal assault in a bathroom. Our thoughts are with their family as they navigate through this unimaginable pain and grief.

Many parents and students have expressed their concerns about the pervasive culture of bullying and harassment at Owasso Public Schools. They have also highlighted that there were individuals within the school who were aware of these incidents but failed to take any action to address them.

“We strongly emphasize the need for a comprehensive and thorough investigation. Students in Oklahoma and throughout the nation deserve a secure and supportive school environment.”

According to a recent survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, it was found that a significant number, around 58 percent, of LGBT+ youth in Oklahoma feel unsafe at school. The survey also revealed that less than half of trans and gender nonconforming students in Oklahoma believe that teachers and staff genuinely care about them, in contrast to two-thirds of trans youth in other states. These findings shed light on the challenges and concerns faced by LGBT+ students in the education system of Oklahoma.

In a recent survey conducted by the Trevor Project in 2022, it was discovered that a significant number of LGBT+ youth in Oklahoma, comprising 48 percent of the participants, had seriously contemplated suicide in the year leading up to the survey. Interestingly, the study also revealed that a higher percentage of trans and nonbinary youth, specifically 55 percent, had experienced these thoughts. This alarming data highlights the urgent need for support and resources to address the mental health challenges faced by this vulnerable group.

According to the report, a staggering 16% of LGBT+ youth in the state, with an alarming 20% of trans and nonbinary youth, have reported experiencing attempted suicide.

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