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Carrollton Rainbow hosts vigil for Nex Benedict

Approximately 50 people gathered in a pavilion on Sunday, March 3 in Carrollton, GA to honor the life of Nex Benedict.


Nex Benedict was a 16-year-old non-binary student who died after an incident at their high school on February 7, 2024. According to their mother and friends, Benedict had experienced bullying from students due to their gender identity for more than a year before their death.


Benedict told police they were beaten by three girls in the girls' restroom at Owasso High School in Owasso, Oklahoma. Benedict died the following day.


Vigils in honor of Benedict have been held across the United States.


"Nex may not have been a child in our state or city, but Nex was a child in our community. They are our child," stated Carrollton Rainbow board member Frank Goolsby.


The vigil was opened with a convocation by Dr. Betsy Dahms, followed by a performance of Somewhere over the Rainbow by Ginna Blair. Carrollton Rainbow board member Steven Wilkins then spoke before opening the vigil to anyone who wanted to say a few word about Nex or about their own experiences. Many stories were shared, tears were shed and hugs were given.


West Georgia Area Free Mom Hugs, PFLAG Carrollton and the Carroll County Democrats all came out to honor Nex and support the community.


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