Northland primary principals are warning that they may start suspending troubled and disruptive pupils because they can't get the resources they need to help them.
They say the number of children damaged by trauma at home, or by meth or alcohol before birth is on the rise and such children need one-on-one attention to keep them and others safe.
The principals say schools are simply not being funded to give broken children what they need - whether it's a full-time teacher aide or psychological help.
The head of Kaitaia Primary School, Brendon Morrissey, says teachers desperate for support, end up taking violent children to the principal's office.
He told our Northland reporter, Lois Williams, that principals like him are spending their days trying to help them.