A teacher who showed boys a video on female orgasm says she did it "because kids get so bored with learning about the basic stuff".
Dawn Patricia Ganaha, a science teacher at Southland Boys' High School from 2012 until last year, has been struck off the teachers' register after showing the video, inviting a boy to her home twice, photographing and texting boys, and flicking a boy on the arm.
She told the Herald today that she made "stupid mistakes" and accepted that she would never teach again, but said she only wanted to help the students.
"I didn't do anything improper, but it looked improper," she said.
The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has found that in April 2015, in a Year 9 advanced science class, Ganaha showed a TED talk video by popular science writer Mary Roach on Ten things you didn't know about orgasm.
The students were studying space and telescopes at the time, and several told the deputy principal that the video made them feel uncomfortable.
"I was quite shocked, I didn't see it coming, I was uncomfortable," one boy said.
Another said: "I just thought it didn't relate to anything we were doing. We thought it was a bit odd."
Three months later, Ganaha was observed taking photos of boys at a school cultural assembly, then texting the same students on her phone. The boys texted her back and "this went back and forth".
A month after that, Ganaha disclosed that she had taken one of the boys to her home without notifying the school or seeking permission from the boy's parents.
In March last year, another teacher found the same boy's scooter at Ganaha's home. Ganaha initially said the scooter belonged to her neighbour, but when the teacher established that it belonged to the boy Ganaha said he was there as a babysitter.
Ganaha was warned by the school rector and measures were put in place after each of these incidents.
Finally, the school received complaints about an incident later in the same month when some boys walked out of a dissection class complaining about the heat and the smell.
Ganaha asked the boys to come back, but two refused, saying, "I'm not going in there, it f---ing stinks."
"Ms Ganaha told them to go and stand by the open window while the others cleaned up and they stood in front of the door and refused," the tribunal said.
"Ms Ganaha then said, 'For fu... goodness sake,' pulling herself up before she swore.
"One of the boys said, 'You swore Miss, you said for f---s sake. The other boy was laughing at the situation.
"In frustration, Ms Ganaha flicked the student on the upper arm with the back of her fingers whilst saying, 'It's not funny, just go into the classroom.'"
Ganaha later apologised in a meeting with school leaders and the student's mother, but the student's mother did not accept her apology and Ganaha resigned. She is now working as a postal sorter.
The tribunal found that Ganaha had committed "serious misconduct", emphasising that "a relationship need not be sexual for it to be improper and cross professional boundaries".
It accepted that her behaviour in some of the incidents was "not as egregious as that in the other cases that we have considered", but found that she "repeatedly blurred the professional boundary between her and her charges".
The tribunal censured her, cancelled her teaching registration and ordered her to pay $458 in costs.
Asked for comment today, Ganaha told the Herald that she accepted that it was "inappropriate" to show the boys the video about female orgasm.
"But for me it was just interesting, it was just something interesting because kids get so bored with learning about the basic stuff that they do, and all I wanted to do was make it interesting," she said.
She said the boy who came to her home was there as a babysitter on one occasion.
"The other time was a tutorial that his parents knew about," she said.
"To be completely honest, all I wanted to do was help the kids.
"I got overly involved. What I did looked more suspicious than it was. I didn't do anything improper but it looked improper.
"They were stupid mistakes and I regret them and I just really want to get on with my life."