Teacher At Odds With School After National Court Case

Joan Naydich, the Florida teacher assaulted by a 17-year-old student over a confiscated Nintendo Switch, is advocating for the maximum 30-year prison sentence for her assailant, Brendan Depa.

The incident occurred in February at Matanzas High School, resulting in severe injuries for Naydich, including five broken ribs, a concussion, and hearing loss. The assault, captured on surveillance cameras, prompted the launch of a GoFundMe account that has raised approximately $106,000 to support Naydich. Despite returning to the school under a different title in August, she was later placed on unpaid leave. Naydich, now facing cognitive problems, emphasized that several injuries are not visible and will have lasting impacts.

Struggling with her workers’ compensation case, Naydich feels abandoned by the Flagler County School District. Depa, diagnosed with autism, pleaded guilty to the assault, and Naydich has declined to assist in seeking a lighter sentence. The scheduled January sentencing proceeding will include testimonies from both the prosecution and defense. Depa’s attorneys previously argued mental deficits and claimed his incompetence to stand trial, but the court rejected this before his guilty plea. The 18-year-old had three prior battery arrests before the attack on Naydich.

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