Hero Sycamore counselor speaks out after convincing student to hand over loaded gun
A Cheatham County guidance counselor is being hailed a hero after talking down a student from shooting a number of people in school.
It all started shortly after first period Wednesday morning. The Cheatham County Sheriff's Office says a 14-year-old student asked to speak with counselor Molly Hudgens, and it had been the words and actions she used that diverted a tragedy.
The sheriff’s office said the teen at Sycamore Middle School brought a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, with two loaded magazines.
And this is the woman, Molly Hudgens, who is being hailed a hero who talked the troubled student down from what could've been a horrific situation.
"I want to assure our school community that no specific teachers or students or teachers were named as targets," Hudgens said in a video statement to Fox 17 on Thursday. "Yesterday, my previous training and experience granted me the opportunity to help a student in need, while protecting our school family as well."
In that office, the sheriff’s office says the teenager was holding onto a gun under his clothing and told Hudgens he was going to kill some teachers, a police officer and not students. Apparently, the teen came to her because he indicated she would be the only one to talk him out of it -- and those who knew her aren't surprised.
“I'm not surprised, she's the type of person that would be easy for her to get through to somebody she's a very loving caring, motherly personality,” Jessica Williams, a friend of Hudgens, said.
“This lady is a hero, to talk this young man out of using a lethal weapon a firearm is a deadly weapon according to Tennessee law, and can cause serious injury or death,” Leroy Farris with the Nashville Armory, said.
Farris is the range master at Nashville Armory and he says there's a lot of confusion between what a .45 caliber can do versus other handguns.
“Obviously a .45 caliber, .45 inches in diameter, is larger than a 40 or a 9 but in a human body it's going to do about the same thing,” Ferris said.
Meantime -- crisis management is becoming a topic more and more organizations are teaching employees -- in an article from Harvard University
- Open communication and trust
- Active listening
And a calm demeanor will increase your chances of talking down someone who is attempting to do harm
The student is charged with carrying and possession of a weapon on school property and communicating a threat concerning a school employee
He is being held in Williamson County, pending the next hearing.
Sycamore Middle School counselor Molly Hudgens is speaking out after convincing a student to hand over a loaded hand gun on Wednesday.
A 14-year-old boy went to Sycamore Middle School with a loaded semi-automatic handgun and ammunition on Wednesday.
Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove said the student asked to speak with counselor Molly Hudgens. The student began asking questions that alarmed her, and Hudgens asked if he had a gun.
The boy said he had a gun hidden under his clothing. The boy told Hudgens he was going to kill certain teachers and a police officer. He said came to her because she would be the only one to talk him out of it.
The boy gave the gun to Hudgens, who was called a hero by the sheriff.
Hudgens gave a video statement on Thursday:
Sycamore Middle has been my home for almost 19 years and the safety of our school is something I take seriously as a school counselor.
Yesterday, my previous training and experience granted me the opportunity to help a student in need, while protecting our school family as well.
I want to assure our school community that no specific teachers or students or teachers were named as targets. Sycamore Middle School is safe and our students will continue to be afforded that same hedge fo protection that they received prior to this event.
I am proud of the action of our faculty, staff and students for following procedures and maintain an atmosphere of calm.
I’m also grateful for the response of local law enforcement and central office staff as well as our school student resource officers who provided support throughout the day.
We are also appreciate of the encouragement and support of our SMS parents.
School resumed today as normal at Sycamore Middle School and students are actively engaged in learning.
We appreciate again all the support from our community and look forward to the continuation of a great school year.