A group of approximately 50 students gathered in the Pinecrest High School commons area Tuesday morning, many wearing Hanson Strong shirts, to rally in support of Assistant Principal Herb Hanson.

Rumors started circulating Friday that Hanson was told he would need to transfer to another school or retire/resign. A petition organized by a Pinecrest Student gathered over 3,600 signatures.

Rylee Bowman is the student responsible for the petition. “Chief Hanson has been nothing but loving and supporting to the community and to every student in Pinecrest,” said Bowman. She was thrilled with the response to the petition and with the number of students who showed up Tuesday to support Hanson.

Other students and parents spoke of how supportive Hanson was to them and empowered them to succeed, and how he was the one staff member every student felt comfortable going to for help.

Moore County Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey released a comment Tuesday morning after the protest.

“We appreciate the passionate appreciation and support that so many students, alumni, parents and other community members have expressed in recent days for Mr. Herb Hanson and for Pinecrest High School,” said Grimesey.  “Mr. Hanson requested and was approved for a leave of absence.  It is expected that Mr. Hanson will return to his role as an assistant principal at Pinecrest High School shortly.  We welcome his return and continued service to our students and community.”

Some of the students and parents surmised Hanson was being transferred or forced to retire due to the recently lost ACT test scores Pinecrest students took in the spring.

The school board is scheduled for a work session Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 2 p.m. Several of the parents and students are planning to attend, however, work sessions generally do not include a public comment session.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at or (910) 639-9303.

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