Oklahoma will “never back down from a woke mob,” the state’s schools chief insisted last night amid fury over the death of a trans student after a bathroom fight.
School Superintendent Ryan Walters blamed “radical leftists” for the backlash surrounding 16-year-old Nex Benedict, who died a day after a fight with three girls at Owasso High School earlier this month.
Benedict’s family claims the nonbinary teen who used they pronouns had been bullied for months since the state insisted that students could only use bathrooms reserved for their biological sex.
But Walters accused activists of exploiting the boy’s death, adding: “There are no multiple genders.” There are two. This is how God created us.
“I really see that there is a civil war going on, where the left is really fighting for the soul of our country,” he added.
“They are undermining the very principles that made this country great, our Judeo-Christian values and our traditions in this country.”
The 21-minute interview, conducted at an Owasso hospital just two hours after the Feb. 7 fight, details the events leading up to the altercation, before Nex was released. Nex, 16, died Feb. 8, a day after he was attacked in a bathroom at Owasso Public High School.
Police body camera footage shows Nex describing the attack just two hours later, when officers interviewed her at the hospital on February 7: “I was assaulted at school,” she said. “They said something like ‘why are you laughing like that?’ talking about us, in front of us’
Now, messages Nex sent to a family member after the fight, shared by Fox23, reveal that the teen tried to confront his bullies.
Police body camera footage shows Nex describing the attack just two hours later, while officers interviewed her at the hospital on February 7.
“I was mugged at school,” he said.
“They said something like ‘why are you laughing like that,’ and they were talking about us, in front of us,” Nex added.
“So I went up and poured water on them and the three of them came towards me.”
Nex was discharged from the hospital but readmitted the next day after she began to lose consciousness.
A preliminary autopsy did not conclude that the fight caused his death, but a full autopsy has not yet been performed.
Oklahoma state senator Tom Woods sparked fury after referring to trans people as “filth” when questioned about her death on Friday.
Insisting that his “heart goes out” to the teen’s family, he told a community meeting that “I represent an electorate that doesn’t want that filth in Oklahoma.”
“We are a religious state and we are going to fight to keep that filth out of the state of Oklahoma because we are a Christian state, we are a moral state,” he continued.
Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil in memory of Nex and his family in the nearby city of Tulsa on Sunday night.
Patricia Saquilo, left, and her daughter Allyson Andrade, 13, and Hadley Mayopulos, 13, were among those who paid tribute.
State Senator Tom Woods sparked fury after referring to trans people as “filth” when questioned about the death on Friday.
Oklahoma has cracked down on LGBT rights and currently has more than 40 bills on the issue passing through the state legislature, including 14 aimed at changing school policies.
It has banned gender transition care for minors and the use of gender-neutral markers on birth certificates.
One bill would require public schools to teach that gender is an “immutable biological trait” and prohibit the use of preferred names or pronouns.
Another would prevent state agencies from displaying flags or symbols in support of gay and transgender people.
“People are always treated with dignity and respect, because they are made in the image of God,” Walters told the New York Times.
But that doesn’t change the truth.
“I think it’s terrible that we’ve had some radical leftists who decided to run with a political agenda and try to spin a narrative that wasn’t true,” he added.
“They have suffered a tragedy and some people have tried to exploit it for political gain.”
Walters, 38, has maintained a high profile since winning election as superintendent of schools in 2022 after a stint as Gov. Kevin Stitt’s education secretary.
The former history teacher demanded the sacking of primary school principal Shane Murnan last year after it was revealed he performed as a drag performer and read stories to children at local libraries while in costume.
Walters claimed the appointment by the Western Heights School District was part of the left’s “plan” to control student values.
“This is absolutely an attempt to break up that family unit, so the child is more susceptible to the most radical Marxist gender ideology we’ve ever seen, which pits groups of people against each other,” she said.
‘And, frankly, it’s to create Democratic voters.
‘This war that awakens our children has to end. We won’t allow it in Oklahoma. “This is the liberal madness that every parent wants to get out of the classroom,” he added.
Last month he named Chaya Raichik, best known for running the X ‘Libs of TikTok’ account, to a spot on the Oklahoma Library’s Media Advisory Committee despite having visited the state only once.
“I really see that there is a civil war going on, where the left is really fighting for the soul of our country,” Walters said.
Walters demanded that the Western Heights School District terminate Shane Murnan’s appointment as elementary school principal last year after it was revealed that he read children’s books in libraries while wearing women’s clothing.
Raichik, who has 2.8 million followers on the platform, has come under fire for his anti-trans tweets, which describe adults who teach children about LGBT identities as “abusive” and schools as “camps.” “government-run indoctrination programs” for the trans community.
Last night, Walters posted another defiant video online, accusing “radical left-wing groups in the media” of lying about Bex’s death.
“They have intentionally lied to push a politically motivated agenda to attack me and conservatives in the state of Oklahoma,” he explained.
“They would use any tragedy to further their political motives.”