Human Rights Campaign Responds to the Full Release of the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Report, Continues to Support Nex Benedict's Family's Call for an Independent Investigation

WASHINGTON - March 27, 2024 - Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, released the following statement in response to the full release of the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's report on the death of Nex Benedict, a 16 year-old non-binary student of Choctaw heritage.

"The full report does little to fill in the gaps in information about that day or the more than a year of bullying and harassment that led up to it. It does not answer the questions of so many in Oklahoma and across the country. We continue to support the calls from Nex's family for an independent investigation.

"Young people in Oklahoma and across the country deserve to be safe and respected in school. This includes young people who may dress differently, speak differently, or identify differently from you. What's clear from Nex's death, and from what we've heard from so many students and parents in Owasso and across the state, is that this is not the case. Instead, we have seen the very adults who should be working to protect Oklahoma's kids actively foster the hostile environment that makes students unsafe.

"The release of today's report does not change the fact that LGTBQ+ students in Oklahoma are not safe at school . And it does not change our continued calls for justice and accountability. We reiterate our call for a full and complete investigation into the district, state superintendent Ryan Walters, the Oklahoma State Department of Education, and into their response after Nex was attacked."

Background Information:

2022 HRC LGBTQ+ Youth Survey - LGBTQ+ Youth ages 13-18

The CDC's YRBS 2021 - all high school aged youth

NOTE FOR REPORTERS: This second edition of Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations, a report made in coalition with many national health care, mental health, and LGTBQ+ groups, "provides facts about suicide and LGBT people, as well as ways to talk about suicide safely and accurately-and in ways that advance vital public discussions about preventing suicide among LGBT people and supporting their health and well-being."

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The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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