Taking a strong stand for justice and criminal sentencing, the female teaching assistant who was viciously attacked and brutally beaten by her six-foot-six, 270 pound student in an incident that shocked the nation is not asking for a lenient sentence for her attacker and instead wants the book thrown at him.
That teaching assistant is 57-year-old Joan Naydich, a paraprofessional at Palm Coast’s Matanzas High School in Florida. He was tackled to the floor by a student and then punched and kicked until she went unconscious after taking the Nintendo Switch gaming device of then-17-year-old Brendan Depa.
The February 21 incident went extremely viral, as it confirmed the suspicions of many that America’s schools, particularly public schools, are anarchic hellholes in which the law-abiding students and teachers live in fear of brutal thugs and criminal activity. As Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly put it, “The lack of respect demonstrated by these students is simply shameful. But actions have consequences.”
This is the horrific video of the incident:
In Flagler County, Florida, a 17-year-old student at Matanzas High School is alleged to have ambushed and physically attacked a teacher's aide, leaving her unconscious, according to police. pic.twitter.com/sNuaxx1q88
— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) February 27, 2023
Depa has since been charged with aggravated battery as an adult and plans to plead guilty to the offense to avoid a trial. However, the judge in the case could charge Depa as a youthful offender instead of an adult, which could mean he faces no penalty other than probation for the offense.
Naydich’s testimony and opinion would likely be highly influential in that decision and, fortunately for those who think those who commit such brutal crimes should be kept off of the streets for a long time rather than let back out near immediately, Neydich hasn’t shown an interest in helping Depa out.
News on that comes from a report in Flagler Live, in which that outlet claimed Naydich has “shown no interest in mitigating what penalties Depa might face,” something which will likely make it much more difficult for Depa to be tried as a youthful offender rather than an adult.
The idea that Depa, who is now 18, would not have the book thrown at him for the alleged assault is made all the more shocking by the fact that Depa already had been arrested three times for battery before he attacked Naydich in February, and has gotten into a brawl while in jail.
A GoFundMe was created for Naydich after the attack and it has so far raised about $103,000 of a $110,000 goal. It originally said, “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. Thank you for giving in the way you are able! You can also send gift cards (Publix, Winn Dixie, Target, and Walmart). Please give in the way that is easiest for you!”
The latest update provides, “What a long exhausting process for our dear friend! As I write this, she’s still jumping through worker’s comp hoops but FINALLY is being seen by professionals at a speciality & trusted facility. For her privacy, no further details can be shared at this time. Long lasting affects are undoubtedly present. Her positive attitude and determination to regain strength and get through the painful & frustrating affects, such as further hearing loss, sight concerns, shoulder pain and constant discomfort from the damage to her ribs, is impressive!”
It continues, “Joan had attempted to return back to work this fall after feeling forced back the last two weeks of school. She’d shared at that point she didn’t feel ready, but was given an ultimatum of return by a specific date or resign. Making it through that time period and summer, she felt better and was optimistic with a new position at an elementary school. Due to unfortunate events out of her control, physically and mentally Joan had a set back. She’s currently on a leave of absence. I personally didn’t really think of the crippling mental impact this would all have on her going back into the school system. I may have mentioned before that Joan was taking courses for her Associate of Arts Degree prior to the attack. That incident forced her to drop out of courses due to cognitive and focus issues.”
Featured image credit: GoFundMe
"*" indicates required fields