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Parents of Owasso High School student who died after fight in bathroom speak out

By Meghan Mosley

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    OKLAHOMA (KOCO) — The parents of an Owasso High School student who died are now correcting an error of misidentifying their child.

Nex Benedict was the 16-year-old who died one day after a fight at Owasso High. The case has received attention because of Benedict’s gender identity.

Benedict’s parents now confirmed Benedict was non-binary, meaning they did not identify exclusively as male or female.

As several organizations across the state gathered to speak out about Benedict’s death, they said their pronouns were also wrong.

“We cover the rural areas of Oklahoma and Owasso is definitely one of the rural areas, and we just feel it’s important our organization speak out,” said Bryan Paddack with Rural Oklahoma Pride.

Benedict was the 16-year-old student who died just one day after a fight in the Owasso High School bathroom.

n a statement on a GoFundMe, Benedict’s mother posted an apology saying “We are sorry for not using their name correctly and as the parents we were still learning the correct forms.”

They also asked the public not to judge them as Benedict was judged and to not bully them for their ignorance on the subject. Their parents said the name Benedict chose would be on the headstone.

“I think pronouns are an essential part of who you are, and when we say who you are, it’s who you are, it’s individualized. It’s disrespectful to call me anything other than wish to be called,” Paddack said.

The school confirmed details of the case on Wednesday nearly two weeks after the fight and Benedict’s death a day later. Investigators have not yet determined if Benedict died as a result of the fight.

The Medical Examiner’s Office will ultimately determine Benedict’s cause of death. Rural Oklahoma Pride will also be having a candlelit service this Saturday in honor of the student.

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