Florida Teacher Attacked by Student Now Relies on Donations During Unpaid Leave

PARK CITY, KS - FEBRUARY 26: Police tape hangs across the street in front of the house that Dennis Rader lives in February 26, 2005 in Park City, Kansas. Rader is the suspect whom police have arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with the 10 deaths now tied to the serial killer known as BTK. (Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
8:33 AM – Thursday, November 16, 2023

A Florida teacher who was beaten unconscious by a student over a video game console says she is now living off donations and wants justice for her attacker. 


“Everybody that knows me or knew me [before the attack] knows that I’m a totally different person now,” Joan Naydich told Fox 35. “My whole life was just turned upside down.”

This comes after then 17-year-old and standing 6 feet 6, Brendan Depa assaulted Naydich at Matanzas High School in February, which left her with five broken ribs, hearing loss and a severe concussion.

The teacher has been outspoken about her assault and has asked for Depa to be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years behind bars. 

Naydich has said her speech has slowed down and continues to suffer from ongoing cognitive problems.

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

The video of the attack is graphic. Depa is seen throwing the teacher to the ground and beating her unconsciously as she lies on the ground, motionless. She has said that she has not watched the video and has no intention of doing so. 

Naydich also said she is struggling to resolve her workers’ compensation case and has been forgotten by the Flagler County School District since the attack. 

Additionally, the teacher returned to school in August under a different title but was put on unpaid leave by the school, according to Fox 35

Meanwhile, Naydich is relying on donations with a GoFundMe being launched after the attack has raised $106,000. 

Depa pleaded guilty to the attack in October, and Naydich has not helped his defense seek a lighter sentencing. 

The teacher has also said she is willing to take the stand to make sure Depa receives the maximum sentence. 

The next hearing is scheduled for January, and will include testimony from both the prosecution and the defense. 

Depa was initially charged as a juvenile but now that he is 18 his charges have been upgraded. 

He also had three prior battery arrests before the attack on Naydich occurred.

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