Florida student accused of violent attack on teacher’s aide files lawsuit blaming school for incident

Apr 27, 2024 | Political News

On Wednesday, the then-17-year-old Florida student who was arrested after he assaulted a teacher's aide for taking his Nintendo Switch filed a complaint against Flagler Schools with the Florida Department of Education which blamed the school for the incident.

While Brendan Depa pleaded no contest to “aggravated battery of a school employee,” his attorney Stephanie Langer told FOX 35 the incident was avoidable.

According to the complaint, Depa is a student with “Emotional Behavioral Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Mood Disorder, and ADHD” and that “had the student's needs been properly addressed and had the staff around him been properly trained, this incident would not have occurred.”

“What we saw was a complete failure to do any evidence-based intervention practices to change his problem behaviors as identified by the school district,” Langer said. “It's not about negating what he did or excusing what he did, but it's holding the system accountable to make sure that kids get the support and services they need, so we never have another Brendan who goes out and hurts a paraprofessional or hurts anybody.”

“Had the school system acted in the right way, this incident would never have happened, and the 17-year-old, now 18 years old, would not … be in jail today and would not be facing such significant penalties for his conduct that day,” she claimed.

Video from the attack made national news in February 2023 after “a school resource deputy was notified that a teacher's aide had been physically attacked on campus. Officials said the woman was unconscious, bloody, and had severe injuries.”

The arrest reports at the time noted that the then-17-year-old said that he would “beat her up every time she takes away his game,” and that “when he comes back he is going to kill her.”

The victim of the incident, teacher's aide Jaon Naydich told the outlet, “My whole life was just turned upside down.”

“Unfortunately, a lot of my injuries that are not visible … I'm going to have for the rest of my life,” she added.

Depa's complaint alleges that Naydich, “did not follow the plans and did not utilize an evidence-based strategy putting herself in a dangerous situation. An avoidable situation.”