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16th Nov 2023

Teacher beaten unconscious by student after stopping him playing video games is forced to live off donations

Joseph Loftus

She’s living entirely from GoFundMe donations

Back in February, teacher Joan Naydich, was brutally attacked and beaten unconscious by a student after asking him to stop playing his Nintendo Switch in class.

270lb student, Brendan Depa, threw Naydich to the ground before repeatedly punching and kicking her in the back and head until eventually being dragged from her unconscious body.

Depa was arrested following the horrific assault and eventually pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery.

Depa faces up to 30 years in prison and will be sentenced at a hearing in January.

But what many find perhaps most shocking about the attack and its repercussions is that Naydich was placed on unpaid leave following the assault.

Speaking about both the physical and financial burden the assault has had on her life, Naydich told Fox35: “I was attacked on February 21st and I feel like I’m just constantly being attacked.”

Naydich said that she’s a totally different person following the attack and that her life has “been turned upside down”.

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

Talking about her financial situation, Naydich said that she’s struggling to get her worker’s compensation.

While she returned to work in August, she claims a few days after she was put on unpaid leave.

Naydich says she has since been relying off donations to live her life while she tries to find a new job.

A GoFundMe page which was started for the teacher by her friend has since raised over £95,000.

The page reads: “My name is Jessica and I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Joan through our kids’ bowling team for Matanzas HS for the last six years!

“February 21, 2023, Joan was brutally attacked by a student as she tried to leave a classroom. The video has gone viral so I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about it!

“Joan is a mom of two! Her son is a senior and her daughter graduated from Matanzas HS in 2013. She’s been working two jobs to care for her family. Her heart is huge in all she does for others!

“Joan is humble, never asks for help and needs our love/support during this difficult time. 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.”

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