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GLAAD running ad in Oklahoma calling for Walters to be ousted

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Oklahoma State Superintendent of Instruction Ryan Walters A little more than a month after nonbinary 16-year-old Nex Benedict died after being assaulted by three classmates in an Owasso, Okal., High School bathroom, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is launching an ad calling for Ryan Walters, the right-wing Superintendent of Public Instruction for Oklahoma, to be removed from that office.

The 30-second spot, which starts running today thanks to a five-figure buy, declares Walters to be unfit for office and calls on Oklahomans to contact their state representatives to advocate for Walters’ removal.

Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Nicole McAfee said, “It has been more than a month since Nex Benedict … died. And not only has our state superintendent Ryan Walters not taken any action to make our schools safe for students like Nex Benedict, he has continued his anti-2SLGBTQ+ rhetoric on public platforms. “Access to the safety to thrive in school has never been too much to ask,” McAfee continued. “Our schools should be a safe place for every student to have their dignity and autonomy respected, a safe place for them to learn.

Nex Benedict deserved that safety, but instead they experienced a year of being bullied by fellow students, as bullying that targeted their identity was also pushed in policy and rhetoric from the head of Oklahoma’s State Department of Education.” McAfee concluded, “Safety for 2SLGBTQ+ students to learn is impossible so long as Ryan Walters remains in power.

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