An adolescent of non-binary identity perished recently after reportedly being assaulted by fellow students in a restroom at their Oklahoma school.

Owasso Police Department indicated that Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old, received medical treatment on Feb. 7 following a “physical altercation” at Owasso High School. Authorities stated they had not been informed about the incident until the hospital contacted them.

According to the Independent, Benedict was purportedly attacked by three individuals in the girls’ restroom and sustained serious head injuries after being thrown to the ground. Their mother, Sue Benedict, told the news site that Nex was covered in bruises on their face and eyes and had scratches on the back of their head.

Following their treatment and discharge from the hospital, the teen returned home and went to bed with a sore head, as per their mother. The next day, Nex Benedict collapsed in their living room and was rushed to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead that evening.

Sue Benedict told the Independent that Nex had been harassed since early last year, shortly after the governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt (R), signed a statute mandating students to use restrooms corresponding to the gender indicated on their birth certificates.

“As we grieve the loss of this student, our hearts are with their family, and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers. We are here to provide support to them and all those impacted by this situation,” stated Owasso Public Schools in a statement on Tuesday.

In an update on Tuesday, the police department mentioned that Owasso Police Detectives are conducting a comprehensive investigation and awaiting an autopsy report and toxicology results.

No charges have been brought against any individuals implicated in the incident, as the cause of Nex Benedict’s death is pending determination by the state medical examiner’s office.

As outlined by the Independent, a teacher whom Nex Benedict admired was featured on Libs of TikTok, an extreme right X (formerly Twitter) account known for disseminating anti-gender-diverse material. Posts from the account have prompted threats against educational institutions, libraries, and other public facilities throughout the nation. The teacher, already under fire for their TikTok videos, stepped down on the same day that the Libs of TikTok account shared a post about them, as per local media.

Chaya Raichik manages the Libs of TikTok platform. On Tuesday, sherefuted speculation related to the relationship with Nex Benedict, contending that Libs of TikTok only published information about the educator following his resignation.

Groups advocating for LGBTQ rights, like Freedom Oklahoma, claim that Raichik, currently a member of the state’s library advisory committee, utilizes her platform in a manner that “incites others to endanger the well-being of Oklahoma children.” In a declaration, the Oklahoma organization characterized the incident before Nex’s passing as a “potential hate-motivated assault.”

The U.S. has experienced a wave of laws targeting transgender individuals in the country, spanning from prohibitions on gender affirming treatment to limitations on restroom usage, like the legislation in Oklahoma.

As per the American Civil Liberties Union, a total of 437 bills aimed against LGBTQ rights have been proposed or adopted in the U.S. up to now in 2024, subsequent to over 500 introduced in 2023. This trend has led to the Human Rights Campaign declaring a state of emergency for LGBTQ individuals.

The organization has also expressed concern in recent years about violence against transgender individuals. A Human Rights Campaign analysis released in November discovered that at least 33 transgender and gender-nonconforming Americans had been fatally assaulted in the previous year.