Oklahoma Schools Chief Says ‘Radical Leftists’ Exploiting Death Of ‘Nonbinary’ Student

"You’ve had some folks try to exploit it for political gain."
Close-up of a chair on a student's desk inside a classroom in a secondary school.
(Getty Images)

Oklahoma’s public schools chief last week called out the “radical leftists” he said are exploiting the death of a young student who identified as “nonbinary.”

Nex Benedict, 16, died on February 8, the day after an altercation in the high school girls’ bathroom. A cause of death has not yet been revealed, but police said the death was unrelated to physical trauma from the fight.

Last week, Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters criticized those trying to politicize the situation.

“I think it’s terrible that we’ve had some radical leftists who decided to run with a political agenda and try to weave a narrative that hasn’t been true,” Walters told The New York Times. “You’ve taken a tragedy, and you’ve had some folks try to exploit it for political gain.”

“We’ve been told death wasn’t directly related to the fight at school,” he added.

Walters also reiterated that Oklahoma schools would not allow students to go by preferred names or pronouns at odds with their biological sex.

“You always treat individuals with dignity or respect, because they’re made in God’s image,” Walters said. “But that doesn’t change truth.”

He added, “There’s not multiple genders. There’s two. That’s how God created us.”

The bathroom altercation happened at Owasso High School near Tulsa.

On the day of the fight, Benedict admitted in an interview with a police officer to pouring water on several girls in the bathroom who were allegedly making fun of Benedict. The girls responded by knocking Benedict to the floor and “beating” Benedict, the teen said.

Benedict’s mother refers to her child with female pronouns in the police body cam video of that interview, which took place at the hospital the same day. Benedict went home later that day.

However, the next day, Benedict was rushed back to the hospital and pronounced dead.

The bathroom altercation lasted less than two minutes, according to the school district, and Benedict is seen able to walk in the aftermath of the bathroom fight in a video released by the Owasso Police Department. The school district also said the students involved in the altercation were able to walk to a nurse’s office afterward.

The state medical examiner’s office said the report on Benedict’s cause of death would eventually be made public, but declined to comment in the meantime on the autopsy or any toxicology results.


Walters has been outspoken about his opposition to radical gender ideology, which has spurred attacks from leftists.

Last year, Walters called for the firing of an Oklahoma school principal who was previously charged with child pornography and moonlighted as a drag queen.

Back in the fall, Walters declared the state was “not going to do the transgender game” when it came to changing students’ genders in school records.

Last month, Walters appointed Libs Of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik to a state agency advisory committee.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Oklahoma Schools Chief Says ‘Radical Leftists’ Exploiting Death Of ‘Nonbinary’ Student