Florida Teacher Survives Attack, Relies on Donations During Unpaid Leave

(Daily360.com) – The Florida teacher whose violent assault was caught by the school’s security camera is asking for the maximum sentence.

Joan Naydich took a Nintendo Switch gaming unit from a student named Brendan Depa back in February. What happened next was captured on video and went viral for weeks, the hulking 6-foot, 6-inch, 270 pound Depa charged Naydich from behind and knocked her to the ground. Once she was down, Depa violently punched and kicked the unconscious teacher until enough people responded and were finally able to pull him off.

Naydich suffered five broken ribs, serious bruising and a severe concussion. She has subsequently suffered cognitive problems, speech issues and hearing loss. She said the people who know her see that she is a completely different person than she was before the assault. To make matters worse, Naydich attempted to return to the school under a different title but was placed on unpaid leave soon after by the school.

Naydich currently has no income as the state has not furnished her any workers’ compensation payments and she says the Flagler County School District has basically abandoned her. She’s been living off donations made to a GoFundMe that was set-up on her behalf after the viral video was released. The monies raised total around $105,000.

Depa’s attorneys have been seeking a lighter sentence for their client based on claims that he is autistic. Depa pleaded guilty to the assault and as a result his attorneys were hoping that Naydich would support a more lenient sentence. She has so far refused; she says she will suffer the results of the attack for the rest of her life.

Judge Terrence Perkins can sentence Depa to anything from probation to 30 years in prison. Naydich has been steadfast that she wants him to receive the maximum 30 year sentence. Depa was 17 years-old at the time of the attack and was initially charged as a juvenile but he’s since turned 18 and had his charges upgraded.

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