A childcare teacher faces a charge of serious misconduct for pulling a child across a room and "plonking" him on the deck outside.
The teacher, whose name is suppressed, worked at Best Start's First Steps centre in Onslow Rd, Papakura, when the incidents took place in June last year.
The child, aged 4, was described by other staff at a Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in Auckland today as having "challenging behaviours".
"[He] was very sweet but he had a lot of troubles which stemmed from his home life," said Kelsi McLennan, who was a caregiver at the centre at the time.
"This resulted in him being very quick to be angry at things, for example social situations which he couldn't navigate through properly.
"If he had a conflict with another child he didn't have the capacity to talk through it, so the immediate reaction from [him] was to get angry, shouting, being physically aggressive and being very emotional and crying."
A teacher, Anna Harland, said the boy often swore at, hit and punched both other children and the teachers.
"He could get quite violent, he could throw objects, he could swipe things off the table," she said.
She said the four teachers, who were looking after between 27 and 42 children in the room, had various strategies to handle the behaviour.
"For example, one day he got so wound up in a situation, he tried to throw a bookshelf at me," she said.
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"So one of the strategies was ensuring that all the children were out of the space so they didn't get hurt."
McLennan said she also tried to move the other children away while the boy calmed down - "because in the middle of his episodes there was no way he could comprehend any talk to him, you had to wait till he settled".
"Once he was calm, I'd invite him to sit with me and talk to me," she said.
"I would say things like, 'Can you tell me what's bothering you?' or, 'Why are you upset, can I help you, is there something I can do to make you happy?'"
She said she only touched him physically if he asked for a cuddle or if he was threatening to hurt someone else. Then she "would normally try to redirect him from his shoulders and his elbow".
But the centre's administrator Tracey Hazell said that on June 13 last year, watching through a window from her office, she saw the accused teacher grip the boy's wrist, hold his hand up by the wrist and pull him across the room.
She rated the level of force at "about seven" out of 10.
"If that was my child, I would not be comfortable with a teacher handling a child like that," she said.
Later the same day, or possibly later in the same episode if the witnesses were incorrect about the exact times of the events, McLennan said she saw the accused teacher "forcibly remove" the boy from the room and "plonk him on the deck" outside.
The boy "was having an episode of frustration that resulted in him crying, screaming and tipping chairs and toys," she said.
"I could hear that [he] was upset and I put my head out the door to see what was going on," she said.
"I saw [the teacher] holding [the boy] and pushing him hard outside and downwards on to the deck in a sitting position."
She rated the level of force at eight out of 10, and said the teacher's voice rose to a noise level of "seven out of 10".
"She was saying things like, 'Get out!' and 'Stop it!'" McLennan said.
"[She] said to me, 'Just ignore him, he's tipping toys,' and walked back inside."
"I was quite shocked," McLennan said. "I was confused and upset and not sure what I should do from there."
But Harland, who was out of the centre at crucial times on June 13, said she had only ever seen the accused teacher use force which she rated at "three out of 10", such as putting her hands on the boy's shoulders to "encourage" him to turn away from a situation where he might have hurt someone.
The accused teacher will give evidence later in the two-day hearing.