Teacher beaten unconscious by student after stopping him playing video games says she's forced to live off donations
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Featured Image Credit: Joan Nayditch/ Florida County Sheriff’s Office
Several months on from being attacked, Joan Naydich says she remains on unpaid leave.
In February, Naydich was brutally attacked and beaten unconscious by 270lb student Brendan Depa.
Naydich had stopped the then 17-year-old from playing his Nintendo Switch in class, sparking him to attack her.
While being dragged away from her, the teenager continued to try and kick her.
Depa was arrested following the ordeal and has since pleaded guilty to first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery.
His sentence will be determined by Judge Terrence Perkins at a hearing in January.
He faces up to 30 years in prison - something which Naydich is said to want for the teen.
Speaking about the physical and financial issues she's faced since the incident, Naydich told Fox 35: "I was attacked on February 21st and I feel like I'm just constantly being attacked."
She went on to say that she's 'totally different person now' and that her life has been 'turned upside down'.
"Unfortunately, a lot of my injuries that are not visible I'm going to have for the rest of my life," Naydich added.
In regards to her finances, Naydich told the outlet that she’s been struggling to get her workers' compensation case resolved.
She returned to work in August under a different title, but a couple of days later she claims to have been put on unpaid leave.
Naydich says she's now living off kind-hearted people's donations while she tries to find another source of income.
At the time of writing, over $117,000 has been raised for the teacher.
The GoFundMe page was set up by Naydich's friend.
She penned on the page: "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!"
Her friend went on to label Naydich as 'humble' and 'never asks for help'.
Flagler County School District has been approached for comment.