School counselor hailed hero after talking student into giving up gun


CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A school counselor at a Cheatham County middle school is being hailed a hero by the sheriff after she singlehandedly convinced a student who brought a gun to school to give up the weapon.

It happened Wednesday at Sycamore Middle School. According to Sheriff Mike Breedlove, the 14-year-old approached school counselor Molly Hudgens after first period.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

During the course of the conversation, the teen said he was having some “issues.” Hudgens then asked him if he had a gun based off statements he had made.

He responded yes, and said that he was going to kill some teachers and a police officer. The teen also indicated she would be the only person who could talk him out of it.

Hudgens then spoke with the teen for 45 minutes, ultimately diffusing the situation.

“She was able to diffuse the whole situation before we even knew what was going on,” Sheriff Breedlove said. “She did something that probably the most experienced law enforcement officer couldn’t do. It could have ended up tragically.”

Hudgens said in a video statement late Thursday that she credits her previous training and experience for allowing here to help a student in need and keep her school family safe.

“The safety of our school is a responsibility I take very seriously as a school counselor,” she said.

No one was injured in the incident. Authorities said the student did not make any threats towards any classmates and it does not appear that he was bullied.

The teen, whose identity has not been released, was taken into custody and is charged with carrying and possession of a weapon on school property and communicating a threat concerning a school employee.

The juvenile remains in custody and will be expelled for a year under the district’s zero tolerance policy.

Authorities said the gun belongs to the his family and that his parents are being cooperative.

The Cheatham County School District said it will also continue to work with the sheriff’s office during the investigation.

According to her school bio, Hudgens began teaching at the school in 1999 before she began in the counseling department in 2006.

Hudgens wrote she wants her counselor’s officer to “be a warm environment where students can come for advice, direction and encouragement.”

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