HRC Responds to Release of Videos & 911 Call in Nex Benedict Case: “This is a failure of our system.”

by HRC Staff

Tonight, Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson issued the following statement on the disturbing, painful videos and 911 call released by Owasso police that were recorded the day before and day of Nex’s death.

This is a failure of our system. 16-year-old Nex Benedict's death in Oklahoma raises disturbing questions about bullying and harassment, school safety, and victim blaming. Videos now circulating raise concerns about the incident's escalation and the response of authorities. Thousands of you have already spoken out about the tragic death of Nex, sharing your outrage and demands for justice. While legal proceedings are ongoing, one thing is clear: Nex never deserved the pain and fear they endured. Our fight for justice is also a fight for a safer future for all students. We cannot ignore it any longer. It's beyond time to address the root cause of bullying and to create inclusive, supportive environments where everyone feels valued and protected.

Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign

Over the past several days, HRC has taken a number of steps to call for justice for Nex and to support the safety of students at Owasso schools.

  • On Thursday, Robinson sent a letter to Dr. Margaret Coates, superintendent of the Owasso school district, calling for her to take immediate action to ensure no other student in the district is victimized based on their LGBTQ+ identity, their race, culture, or ethnicity, or any other characteristic. As part of the letter, Robinson offered to bring the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools program— the most comprehensive bias-based bullying prevention program in the nation to provide LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive training and resources — to the district immediately.

  • Earlier in the week, Robinson wrote to both the Department of Justice and Department of Education, calling on their respective departments to launch investigations into the circumstances of Nex’s tragic death.
    • The full text of the letter to Attorney General Garland can be found here.

    • The full text of the letter to Secretary Cardona can be found here.

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