The recent unprovoked attack on a teacher’s aide in Florida has stunned the community and raised concerns about violence in schools.
Joan Naydich, a paraprofessional at Matanzas High School, was brutally attacked by a 270-pound student who had allegedly claimed that she had confiscated his Nintendo Switch during class.
However, Naydich has come forward to deny these claims, setting the record straight that she had never taken the device from him.
The disturbing incident, which took place in the school hallway, was captured on video and showed the 6-foot-6 teenager, Brendan Depa, sprinting towards Naydich and shoving her to the ground, rendering her unconscious. The teenager then proceeded to stomp on her limp body 15 times while other students and teachers tried to intervene.
It took four adults to pry the massive student off Naydich, who was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. Although she has since been released, Naydich said that she is “overwhelmed with the idea of the long” recovery ahead, and the incident has left her with physical and emotional scars.
A gofundme for her raised $77,000 at the time of this publication. Naydich expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support and hopes that the incident will raise awareness about the traumatic effects of such violence.
Depa was charged as an adult with aggravated battery on a school board employee, an offense punishable by up to 30 years behind bars.
A mental health advocate previously tried to vouch for him saying:
‘People need to be educated on children that have ESE [Exceptional Student Education]. They should also be educated on impulsive aggression behavior, and that most times these children do not understand the consequences of the behavior.’
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.