A middle school guidance counselor from Tennessee talked down a student who brought a gun to school Wednesday morning after the 14-year-old told her that he was planning on killing teachers and a police officer. He said she was the only person he could explain his motives to.
According to The Tennessean, the teen, whom attended Sycamore Middle School, went to talk to Molly Hudgens about issues he was having and initially hid the gun. But Hudgens picked up on some alarming questions and wound up asking the student if he had a weapon on him. He said yes, then told her he planned to kill teachers and a police officer, but did not want to harm any students.
After a 45-minute conversation, the teen wound up handing over the semiautomatic pistol and additional ammunition, and no one was harmed. He reportedly got the gun from his family.
“She was an amazingly brave person to be in there that long with this young man,” Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove told reporters. “She did something even the most experienced law enforcement officer might not do. She’s a hero in our community.”
“I’m not surprised, she’s the type of person that would be easy for her to get through to somebody,” Jessica Williams, Hudgens’ friend, told the Associated Press. “She’s a very loving caring, motherly personality.”
Shortly after the incident, Hudgens released a video statement explaining that the student did not mention specific teachers or students, and the school resumed as normal.
“Sycamore Middle has been my home for almost 19 years, and the safety of our school is a responsibility I that take very seriously as a school counselor,” she said. “Yesterday my previous training and experience granted me the opportunity to help a student in need while protecting our school family as well.”
The teenager’s name has yet to be released, but he has been charged with possessing a weapon on school property and threatening school employees. He is being held in juvenile detention before his next hearing and will be expelled for a year under the school’s zero tolerance policy for guns.