21 Mar 2011

Teacher threw chair at child, court told

7:20 pm on 21 March 2011

Pupils at a Maori school on the outskirts of Hastings have told a court of the ways they say their teacher assaulted them in class, including throwing a chair at a pupil.

Wi Derek Huata faces 10 charges in the Napier District Court of assaulting children under the age of 14, and two of assault using a weapon at the kura kaupapa school in 2008.

The 53-year-old accused faces seven charges of pulling the ears of pupils, three of kicking them, and one each of using a ruler and a chair as a weapon.

A boy, now aged nine, told the court on Monday that Matua Derek, as all the class called him, would punish pupils when they were naughty.

The boy says one day he was talking during quiet time on the mat when the teacher threw a chair which hit him on his backside and made him cry.

On other occasions, the boy says the accused kicked him and pulled him by the ear.

A nine-year-old girl says Mr Huata pulled her by the ear at three different times because she was talking.

The trial continues on Tuesday with pupils giving evidence by video link.