Nex Benedict’s college district less than investigation by Department of Training

The Section of Schooling is opening an investigation into Owasso Public Educational institutions in which college student Nex Benedict, a member of the 2SLGBTQ local community, bought in a fight with quite a few other college students the day in advance of they died, in accordance to a letter from the company obtained by ABC News.

The investigation follows a grievance from the Human Rights Marketing campaign alleging that the District discriminated towards college students by failing to answer correctly to sex-primarily based harassment at Owasso High School during the 2023-2024 faculty 12 months.

“Nex’s loved ones, local community, and the broader 2SLGBTQI+ (two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex+) group in Oklahoma are nonetheless awaiting responses adhering to their tragic reduction,” reported Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Legal rights Campaign. “We take pleasure in the Office of Education and learning responding to our complaint and opening an investigation–we require them to act urgently so there can be justice for Nex, and so that all students at Owasso Superior University and each individual school in Oklahoma can be safe and sound from bullying, harassment, and discrimination.”

In this impression offered Malia Pila, Nex Benedict poses exterior the family’s household in Owasso, Okla., in December 2023.

Sue Benedict by way of AP

The Owasso Public Colleges mentioned in a statement that they obtained discover of the investigation.

“The district is committed to cooperating with federal officials and thinks the complaint submitted by HRC is not supported by the info and is without the need of benefit,” the assertion go through in portion.

In a earlier statement to ABC Information, the district also claimed that the “security and safety of our pupils is our best priority and we are dedicated to fostering a risk-free and inclusive environment for absolutely everyone.”

“Bullying in any kind is unacceptable,” the statement go through. “We just take studies of bullying quite significantly and have insurance policies and methods in position to tackle this kind of behavior.”

In the letter, the Division noted “that opening the grievance for investigation in no way implies that OCR has manufactured a determination on the merits of the complaint.”

Anti-LGBTQ bullying and violence have been the centre of discussion in the aftermath of Nex’s death earlier this thirty day period, as Nex Benedict’s family calls for action and responses regarding the bullying they say Nex faced in university.

“The Benedicts know all far too effectively the devastating effects of bullying and university violence, and pray for meaningful transform wherein bullying is taken significantly and no family members has to offer with another preventable tragedy,” the household reported via their attorney in a statement to ABC News.

Authorities are awaiting the complete effects of the autopsy and toxicology reviews for more insight into the conditions encompassing the teen’s demise. The condition medical examiner’s business office will decide the remaining cause and fashion of demise.

The HRC also joined about 350 community, condition, and national companies in an open letter calling for state Superintendent Ryan Walters’ rapid elimination from office environment for, the letter promises, “fostering a society of violence and hate against the 2SLGBTQI+ local community in Oklahoma educational facilities.”

The letter – which was developed and circulated Wednesday by the advocacy teams Liberty Oklahoma, GLAAD, Human Legal rights Marketing campaign, and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Community (GLSEN) – also requires an investigation into the condition Section of Instruction “to ascertain what actions and insurance policies have led to a tradition exactly where rampant harassment of 2SLGBTQI+ pupils has been authorized to go unchecked.”

In a statement to ABC Information, Walters named the letter a “typical tactic of the radical remaining, and they will stop at nothing to ruin the state and our point out.”

Walters further accused critics of partaking in a “desperate political recreation” that seeks to “exploit the death of a young Oklahoman. I will in no way halt fighting, I will not engage in woke gender games, and I will not back again down to a woke mob.”

ABC News’ Tesfaye Negussie contributed to this report.