A Tennessee school counselor speaks about keeping students from school shootings

PLEASANT VIEW, Tenn. (WSAZ) – When we hear about school shootings, we may think, “How could this have been prevented?”

Although every situation is different, it is usually too late to talk someone out of the horrific act.

But in September 2016, a counselor at Sycamore Middle School in Pleasant View, Tennessee sat down opposite a student who was armed with a gun and tried her best to dissuade him from going ahead with a school shooting.

Molly Hudgens spent 90 minutes speaking to this student and managed to persuade him to make a tragic decision.

“I could tell from his behavior and some of the questions he asked that something was not as it should be. He was very nervous, he was very worried. I just had this thought, I think God gave me that He probably has a gun,” Hudgens said. “From there it was more about strategic prayer and thinking about what to say to him, how to get help if that’s an option … how to meet him where he is, how to recognize that he’s in a The situation he is in is probably at one of his lowest moments and he needed someone to support him. So I really thought that, along with the overall thought/concept, ‘I have to protect our students.’”

Hudgens says she incorporated a combination of previous research into school shootings, strategy and prayer at those critical moments.

So what’s the message Hudgens wants to convey with her story?

“We hope that when people hear our story, they’ll look around for others who are struggling… that they’ll just recognize that and maybe be the person that goes up to them and says, ‘Hey, is everything okay? Do you want to talk or have a cup of coffee?’ Just so that person feels someone cares about them,” Hudgens said.

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