Pittsburgh Public School GSA Students Stand With Nonbinary Teen Nex Benedict, Call on District Leadership To Do The Same

Please read this statement crafted by students. Of particular importance are the Calls To Action for Pittsburgh Public School administrators. These kids understand better what Nex Benedict endured than most adults ~ Sue

As Genders & Sexualities Alliances (GSA) and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSSU) in Pittsburgh Public Schools), we are fortunate to be able to express ourselves freely around sometimes sensitive topics. Today we exercise this right to state that we stand in solidarity with Pittsburgh trans and nonbinary students as they grieve and try to understand the death of Nex Benedict, a nonbinary student in Oklahoma. 

Nex Benedict died the day after a violent fight with three other students who had been harassing Nex and their friends. Nex complained in a video statement to the police that they regularly heard transphobic and homophobic speech in their school. Nex’s death has been ruled a suicide.

*Note that the last statement is not entirely accurate. From them.com, an early summary of the report was released on Wednesday, stating that the probable cause of Benedict’s death was a combination of the “combined toxicity” of diphenhydramine (the antihistamine found in Benadryl) and fluoxetine (the antidepressant that is the active drug in Prozac). However, the full medical examiner’s report will not be released until March 27. ~ Sue

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LGBTQ+ youth are at greater risk than their straight/cisgender peers for a host of horrible conditions: poor mental health, bullying and harassment, physical violence from peers. LGBTQ+ young people are also more likely than straight/cisgender peers to seriously contemplate or attempt suicide.

The GSAs and GSSUs of Pittsburgh Public Schools call upon our district leaders for open support and fundamental change. In the wake of Nex Benedict’s death, we demand that PPS leaders step up and speak out. We call on Dr. Walters, the school board, and district leadership to publicly:

  • ADVOCATE for trans and non-binary students within the district.
  • ADDRESS the woeful lack of LGBTQ representation in district K-12 curricula.
  • ACT NOW to ensure that the district’s gender-inclusive policy is equitably enforced in all Pittsburgh schools through high quality training of all adults — not just teachers — who work directly with students.


The Gender & Sexuality Alliances / Gender & Sexuality Student Unions of…





Greenfield School




Sci Tech

Woolslair Elementary 


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