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School counselor hailed as hero after talking student out of school shooting

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. –As a school counselor, Molly Hudgens has lots of conversations with students. But a 45-minute talk she had with a student earlier this week probably saved a lot of lives, including her own.

Hudgens is a counselor at Sycamore Middle School in Ashland City, Tennessee. On Wednesday morning, a 14-year-old student came into her office with a lot on his mind — and a gun.

The 45-minute talk she had with him probably saved a lot of lives, including her own.

“He advised Ms. Hudgens he was going to kill some teachers and a police officer and not students,” Mike Breedlove, the sheriff of Cheatham County, told CNN affiliate WSMV.

“He came to her because he indicated she would be the only one to talk him out of it.”

And that’s exactly what she did.

After they started talking, Hudgens asked the teen if he had a gun; he showed it to her in his waistband. But she kept talking to him and eventually got him to give the weapon to her. The teen was then arrested by a school resource officer.

Training praised as well

“She was an amazingly brave person to be in there that long with this young man,” Breedlove said Thursday. “She was able to defuse the whole situation.”

Breedlove also praised the training teachers and staff at the school receive for situations just like this,

As for Hudgens — who’s been at Sycamore Middle for 19 years, 10 of them as a counselor — she hasn’t said much about what she told the student during that potentially life-saving chat. And in a video posted to the school’s Facebook page, she deflected attention away from herself, praising instead the actions of her fellow staff members and law enforcement.

“Sycamore Middle School is safe, and our students will continue to be afforded that same hedge of protection that they received prior to this event,” she said. “School resumed today as normal … and students are actively engaged in learning. We appreciate again all of the support from our community and look forward to the continuation of a great school year.”