Teacher beaten by student over video game forced to live off donations after being put on unpaid leave

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By Nasima Khatun

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Warning: This article contains details of injuries that some readers will find distressing.

A teacher who was beaten by a student over a video game has been reportedly living off donations after being put on unpaid leave.

Joan Naydich, a teacher at Matanzas High School in Florida, was beaten until she was unconscious by a 17-year-old student from whom she had confiscated a Nintendo Switch during school hours.

Standing at a whopping six foot six, Brendan Depa got wildly aggressive with the teacher as seen in surveillance footage that went viral after it was posted to social media back in February.

The harrowing footage showed the student bulldozing the teacher, flinging her to the other side of the room before landing multiple punches and kicks from behind as she lay there unconscious.

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Credit: Flagler County Sheriff's Office

You can see other people run over to separate Depa from Naydich, and even as they were dragging him away, he continued to throw a few final kicks before he was restrained and held against the floor until the police arrived.

The 57-year-old suffered multiple injuries at the hands of the brutal attack including several broken ribs, a severe concussion, and hearing loss. Not only that but half of her face was left bruised and scarred after repeated contact with the carpet.

"Everybody that knows me or knew me [before the attack] knows that I’m a totally different person now," the teacher's aide told Fox 35. "My whole life was just turned upside down."

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Credit: Flagler County Sheriff's Office

She said her speech has slowed, she has issues with patience, and she often has difficulty with what she considers routine cognitive functions.

"Unfortunately, a lot of my injuries that are not visible I'm going to have for the rest of my life," she said.

"I was attacked on February 21st and I feel like I'm just constantly being attacked," Naydich added, while referencing to the medical and financial hurdles she’s faced in recent months.

Naydich was put on unpaid leave after sustaining the horrific injuries and a GoFundMe page was set up in order to help her continue with her life in the mean time.

"Joan is humble, never asks for help and needs our love/support during this difficult time," read the description. "I've asked her to allow us to do this so that she can rest, heal and spend time with her kids without worrying about financial concerns right now."

The fund has raised a total of $120,000 at the time of writing as donations continue to increase by the hour.

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Credit: GoFundMe

Depa, who reportedly has autism, pleaded guilty to the attack last month, and Naydich has refused to help his defense seek a lighter sentence.

The student is set to serve anywhere between from probation to a maximum of 30 years behind bars.

Naydich stressed to the outlet that she wants the now 18-year-old to face the maxium sentence adding: "I want to make sure he is not able to walk the streets freely."

In previous conversations with Fox reporters, Naydich said she felt as though the impending sentencing would bring about closure for her but now she's said that is no longer the case.

"I have no idea what closure looks like right now," she said. "I just want to be whole again."

Depa's sentencing hearing is set for January 31.

Featured Image Credit: Maskot/Getty

Teacher beaten by student over video game forced to live off donations after being put on unpaid leave

vt-author-image

By Nasima Khatun

Article saved!Article saved!
Warning: This article contains details of injuries that some readers will find distressing.

A teacher who was beaten by a student over a video game has been reportedly living off donations after being put on unpaid leave.

Joan Naydich, a teacher at Matanzas High School in Florida, was beaten until she was unconscious by a 17-year-old student from whom she had confiscated a Nintendo Switch during school hours.

Standing at a whopping six foot six, Brendan Depa got wildly aggressive with the teacher as seen in surveillance footage that went viral after it was posted to social media back in February.

The harrowing footage showed the student bulldozing the teacher, flinging her to the other side of the room before landing multiple punches and kicks from behind as she lay there unconscious.

size-full wp-image-1263237029
Credit: Flagler County Sheriff's Office

You can see other people run over to separate Depa from Naydich, and even as they were dragging him away, he continued to throw a few final kicks before he was restrained and held against the floor until the police arrived.

The 57-year-old suffered multiple injuries at the hands of the brutal attack including several broken ribs, a severe concussion, and hearing loss. Not only that but half of her face was left bruised and scarred after repeated contact with the carpet.

"Everybody that knows me or knew me [before the attack] knows that I’m a totally different person now," the teacher's aide told Fox 35. "My whole life was just turned upside down."

size-full wp-image-1263237032
Credit: Flagler County Sheriff's Office

She said her speech has slowed, she has issues with patience, and she often has difficulty with what she considers routine cognitive functions.

"Unfortunately, a lot of my injuries that are not visible I'm going to have for the rest of my life," she said.

"I was attacked on February 21st and I feel like I'm just constantly being attacked," Naydich added, while referencing to the medical and financial hurdles she’s faced in recent months.

Naydich was put on unpaid leave after sustaining the horrific injuries and a GoFundMe page was set up in order to help her continue with her life in the mean time.

"Joan is humble, never asks for help and needs our love/support during this difficult time," read the description. "I've asked her to allow us to do this so that she can rest, heal and spend time with her kids without worrying about financial concerns right now."

The fund has raised a total of $120,000 at the time of writing as donations continue to increase by the hour.

wp-image-1263237018 size-large
Credit: GoFundMe

Depa, who reportedly has autism, pleaded guilty to the attack last month, and Naydich has refused to help his defense seek a lighter sentence.

The student is set to serve anywhere between from probation to a maximum of 30 years behind bars.

Naydich stressed to the outlet that she wants the now 18-year-old to face the maxium sentence adding: "I want to make sure he is not able to walk the streets freely."

In previous conversations with Fox reporters, Naydich said she felt as though the impending sentencing would bring about closure for her but now she's said that is no longer the case.

"I have no idea what closure looks like right now," she said. "I just want to be whole again."

Depa's sentencing hearing is set for January 31.

Featured Image Credit: Maskot/Getty