Kamo High School's board chairman says there was no intimidation from the national teachers' union after the school agreed to let a charter school use its facilities.
The Whangarei school had agreed to give charter school Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa access to its chemistry laboratory but letters released by Act Party leader David Seymour show the Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) urged the school to withdraw their support.
Mr Seymour, whose party led the introduction of charter schools in New Zealand, said the PPTA had bullied the Kamo High School out of a "win-win" arrangement. However, the school's board chairman said the school hadn't been bullied but he could see both sides of the issue and supported the PPTA.
"I don't think they are bullies, no one felt intimidated or forced to do anything," he said.
"On an operational level we have state assets and it's our view they be available to forward the education of the community."
PPTA president Angela Roberts said she was concerned about the charter school using Kamo High School's facilities when charter schools receive funding equivalent to $28,000 per student, compared with $15,000 per student for a similar-sized state school.
"We don't want these schools, which are being propped up by considerable additional funding, using resources at these state schools," she said.
In a letter sent on May 10, PPTA's Ms Roberts warned principal Joanne Hutt that sharing facilities could go against health and safety laws and would upset teachers who had voted not to support charter schools.
Two weeks later, the school told Ms Roberts that it had decided not to share its chemistry lab with Te Kura Hourua, saying the issue had become a distraction.
Raewyn Tipene of the He Puna Marama Trust told One News the charter school needed to work in a chemistry area and believed there wouldn't be a problem to ask the nearby high school.
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