A school principal cried at a Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal hearing when she was asked to read allegations against one of her teachers – a relative who had boarded with her for a year.
The male teacher faces 16 charges including applying physical force against students, shouting or yelling at students and behaving aggressively or in an intimidating manner towards students at a primary school in 2016 and 2017.
All names and the school's location are suppressed.
A teacher aide who worked with the teacher since 2014 told the tribunal last week that the teacher lost his temper three or four times a week and often yelled at his students so loudly that "the whole school could hear it".
The principal said she and the teacher both started teaching at the school in 2006. She moved to another school in 2010 but returned to the school as principal in 2013.
She broke down when she was asked to read out allegations she made against the teacher in a mandatory report to the Education Council in October 2017, including "grabbing and scratching children by the arm", "use of inappropriate language towards students" and "kicking furniture to intimidate students".
After a brief pause while she wiped her eyes, she finished reading out the report in which she recommended that the teacher's practising certificate should be cancelled.
Later she told the teacher's lawyer, Catherine Goode, that she had privately suggested to the teacher the previous month, in September 2017, that he should move to a family house in another region.
"I talked to [the teacher] because he and I are whānau and I know he's got a home up there. It was me as a whānau member, not as a principal, and because of his health," she said.
"[The teacher] and I used to actually live together, that's why this is hard. But I'm here to support our children [students] as well. [The teacher] and I have had many conversations about moving back home."
Responding to further questions from Stephanie Bishop, a lawyer for the Teaching Council's complaints investigations committee, the principal said she and the teacher were both from the same iwi and "align quite closely in terms of whanaungatanga".
"[The teacher] was my boarder a few years ago when we were both teachers at [the school]," she said. He boarded with her for "a year or so".
Goode told the tribunal that the teacher suffered ongoing health problems arising from a 2008 ankle injury, which became infected.
The principal said she received a complaint from parents in November 2016 about the teacher's "tone of voice" and "some of the content of what's being said". He was given a verbal warning and was one of three teachers asked to do an Incredible Years training course on managing children's behaviour in early 2017.
In February 2017, two social workers filed a formal complaint alleging that they overheard the teacher shouting at his students and saying, "If I hear anyone talking I'll rip their paper out."
This time, the principal said, the school and the teacher signed an agreement that the teacher would get support to manage his tone and the way he managed the students' behaviour.
However further complaints were received from parents in March and again in September 2017, and in September the principal asked her assistant principal to investigate several alleged incidents. The investigation led to the mandatory report to the Education Council alleging possible "serious misconduct".
The principal cried again when she was asked whether the teacher presented a risk to children.
"Sorry, because [the teacher] and I have history outside of our professions, do I know that [he] would intentionally hurt a child? Absolutely not. I would never testify that he would intentionally hurt anybody," she said.
"With my principal hat on, I went on what was presented before me and I followed the processes of industrial [advice].
"There were times when I didn't agree on some of those things, but I'm only one voice and I voiced those things with both the board and the [adviser]. But my name is on every piece of paper and I have to wear that."
The hearing is expected to continue for at least two more days.