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Anaconda principal on leave pending texting investigation

Posted at 9:06 AM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 11:06:54-04

Story by John Emeigh

ANACONDA, Mont. – The principal at Anaconda High School, Shawn Hansen, who is also the principal of the junior high,  was placed on paid administrative leave by the Anaconda School District.

This action was taken after reports came up a couple weeks ago of an apparent inappropriate text message that was sent by the principal to a 19-year-old who was a former student at the school.

According to Anaconda police, the 19-year-old said Hansen had sent him a text message that he believed that was asking him out on a date. Police looked into the matter and found no illegal activity, saying this text was between two adults and, at this point, aren’t seeking any criminal charges.

An Anaconda citizen I spoke to who used to work for the school district said he knows Shawn Hansen and doesn’t believe the school district is treating him fairly.

“He did a lot for the kids, especially extra time putting in, not just the school hours, but after school, weekends. He did anything you asked him,” said Jeff Frank who once worked as vice principal at the high school.

He added that if police found no criminal activity in this matter, Hansen should not have been placed on administrative leave.

“The chief of police said ‘what are we going to charge him on?’ There’s no law broken, so they’re out of it. So what else can you do?” Frank said.

The school district has called on the Montana School Boards Association to investigate this matter. The Anaconda School District did not reply to requests from comment Wednesday.