Oklahoma: Student Dies After High School Bathroom fight

Officials admitted on Tuesday that there are lingering questions surrounding the death of a 16-year-old Oklahoma student, who passed away one day after being involved in a fight in a high school bathroom.

The altercation on February 7 took place at the Owasso High School West Campus, situated northeast of Tulsa, as confirmed by both police authorities and school officials.

Nex Benedict was officially identified on Tuesday by Chuck Hoskin Jr., the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Hoskin clarified in a statement that Nex was not a citizen of the Cherokee Nation but resided on the Cherokee reservation. He further mentioned that he had reached out to local authorities to provide assistance to the Owasso Police Department in their investigation into Nex’s death.

“The facts relating to Nex’s death are not yet fully clear,” Hoskin said, adding: “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,” he said. “May Nex rest in peace.”

According to Nex’s mother, as reported by The Independent, the 16-year-old had experienced bullying at school related to their gender identity.

The potential link between the alleged bullying and Nex’s death on February 8 remains unclear. The cause of the student’s passing has not been disclosed to the public, and the Owasso Police Department indicated on Tuesday that it was uncertain if the altercation was connected to the death. The department affirmed that an ongoing investigation is in progress.

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Tuesday saw no elaboration from the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office regarding the case. However, in a statement released on the very same day, Owasso Public Schools tackled the growing wave of speculation and misinformation surrounding the incident, reaffirming the district’s commitment to ensuring student safety and security.

“We understand the importance of ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all students and know that the information below doesn’t change the facts that a fight occurred on school grounds and a student passed away the next day,” the statement said.

School district authorities stated that the students involved in the altercation were inside the restroom for a brief period of fewer than two minutes, and the clash was promptly interrupted by other students and a vigilant staff member monitoring the area from outside.

After the altercation, every student “walked under their own power” to the nurse and assistant principal’s office, where administrators took statements and reached out to their parents, as outlined by the district.

School officials reiterated that, following standard protocol, the students underwent a health assessment conducted by a registered nurse employed by the district.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” the parent of one student was advised to take their child to a medical facility for further evaluation, the district said in its statement.

The police statement indicated that law enforcement was alerted by a parent regarding their child’s participation in a fight, leading to the presence of a school resource officer at Bailey Medical Center.

The police department reported that the teenager passed away the day after the incident.

Africa Today News, New York 

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