Update on Student Passing

March 13, 2024
Ram Family, 
This afternoon the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released its summary report regarding the death of Owasso High School student Nex Benedict. An update on the investigation can be found on the Owasso Police Department’s Facebook page.
The loss of Nex, a member of the Ram Family and the Owasso community, is devastating. We understand that the information released today may bring up additional thoughts, feelings and emotions for students and staff members. 
Because each person may respond differently, the district employs an experienced team of counselors that are available to students and staff every day. Any student who wishes to see a counselor can do so by visiting the counseling office or may schedule an appointment by emailing their counselor. If you or someone you know are in need of support outside of school hours, please dial 988 for access to free and confidential resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the Crisis Text Line is available for emotional crisis support by texting HELLO to 741741.
As we mourn together, OPS remains focused on the safety and well-being of our students and staff. Let’s continue to lean on each other in the days ahead. 
Dr. Margaret Coates
Owasso Public Schools

February 20, 2024
Owasso Public Schools has cooperated fully with the investigation by the Owasso Police Department surrounding the death of a high school student on February 8, 2024. The district has limited its statements on the matter to this point due to the on-going investigation in an effort to not disrupt police, and out of respect and for the confidentiality for all involved. 
However, the speculation and misinformation surrounding the case has intensified in recent days. While there will still be pieces of information that the district will never be able to share due to federal privacy laws, we are reaching out to you today to address some of that misinformation, particularly statements that call into question the district’s commitment to student safety & security. We understand the importance of ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all students and know that the information below doesn’t change the facts that a fight occurred on school grounds and a student passed away the next day.
We have worked with police to ensure that the information provided below will not disrupt their investigation. 
  • On the afternoon of Wednesday, February 7, 2024, a physical altercation occurred in a restroom at the Owasso High School West Campus.
  • Students were in the restroom for less than two (2) minutes and the physical altercation was broken up by other students who were present in the restroom at the time, along with a staff member who was supervising outside of the restroom.
  • Once the altercation was broken up, all students involved in the altercation walked under their own power to the assistant principal’s office and nurse’s office.
    District administrators began taking statements from the students present in the restroom and began contacting parents/guardians of the students involved in the physical altercation.
  • Following district protocols, each of the students involved in the altercation was given a health assessment by a district registered nurse. Per district protocols, students needing further support are transported to a medical facility either by ambulance or by a parent/guardian, depending on the severity of the injuries and preference of the parent/guardian.
  • While it was determined that ambulance service was not required, out of an abundance of caution, it was recommended to one parent that their student visit a medical facility for further examination.
  • Per district protocols, the parents/guardians of students involved in a physical altercation are notified and informed of the option to file a police report should they choose. Should they choose to file a police report, school resource officers are made available to the parents/guardians either at that time or they can schedule an appointment, if they choose, at a later date. These practices were followed during this incident.
  • Physical altercations between students are unacceptable. Any student/s engaging in such action, jeopardizing the safety of others, will receive disciplinary consequences. These consequences can include out of school suspension for first offense. Due to federal privacy laws, we are unable to disclose the exact nature of disciplinary action taken against any student. That information can only be given to the parents/guardians of the student being disciplined. Any notion that the district has ignored disciplinary action toward those involved is simply untrue.
  • Additional counseling services were provided to students at the high school on Friday, February 9, and continue to be available for all students & staff.
We understand that for many, additional questions remain, however these are the facts that we are able to communicate at this juncture. We will continue to cooperate fully with the Owasso Police Department’s investigation. 
The loss of a student, a member of the Ram Family and the Owasso community, is devastating. We recognize the impact that this event has had on the entire school community and it is our priority to foster an environment where everyone feels heard, supported, and safe. If there is ever a concern about student safety or well-being, please reach out to a teacher, counselor or principal at your child’s school. As we continue to mourn the loss of this student, our hearts go out to their family and they will continue to be in our prayers. We are here to support them and everyone who has been affected by this situation.