Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Peggy Flanagan: 'The system failed Nex Benedict'

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan criticized Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday, saying he is “not doing enough” in response to the death of 16-year-old nonbinary student and Choctaw descendent Nex Benedict.

In an interview with ICT, Flanagan blamed Oklahoma lawmakers for enacting laws targeting 2SLGBT+ students, calling them “very intentional choices by decision makers.” She specifically cited a 2022 law, requiring students to use bathrooms that align with their gender at birth. The bullying against Benedict started shortly after that law was signed, according to Benedict’s family.

“I want to be really, really clear that there are consequences to policy,” the White Earth Band of Ojibwe citizen said. “I know there's still an ongoing investigation, but I think one of the things we can be really clear about is that the system failed Nex Benedict.”


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