Region 9 holds school safety summit | #schoolsaftey

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) – Although summer is in full swing, educators are taking the time now to prepare for the upcoming school year. Texoma educators attended a school safety summit at Region 9.

Educators were able to hear from Keynote Speaker Molly Hudgens who averted a school shooter in 2016. Hudgens shared her story hoping to reach teachers.

“What you are doing as a teacher is really a calling. It’s something that you probably were drawn to for some specific reason,” said Molly Hudgens, Keynote Speaker at Region 9.

On September 28, 2016, Molly Hudgens, a school counselor in Pleasant View, Tennessee, averted a school shooting when a fourteen-year-old eighth grader, armed with a semi-automatic handgun and an additional magazine of ammunition, came to her in the counseling department at Sycamore Middle School with a plan to harm people on their campus. After ninety minutes of talking and ultimately praying with the young man on her knees beside him, Hudgens was able to convince the student to relinquish the weapon to her with no shots fired and no lives lost.

“Those kids just really need someone to listen. Sometimes if you can talk to them one on one in a private setting, they’re able to open up and share about some of the struggles that they are going through and so I think it’s important that a lot of their behaviors are just reminders to us that they need intervention,” added Hudgens.

Hudgens’s message reached several people in attendance.

“We need to pay attention to the signs of our students we do need to learn to communicate with them, be compassionate with them. I think there’s a lot of times that we can be a little rash to judgment with not knowing the student’s situation,” said Superintendent of Benjamin ISD, Dr. Joshua Smith.

Two WFISD educators took away a lot from the summit.

“It really made me realize like how important it is to be present for every kid in every moment,” said Zundy Elementary School Counselor Sarah Lucas.

“Watching listening, talking to the kids, and being aware of what’s going on in their lives as well as the climate or culture of the school,” said Barwise Middle School Choir Director Sharri Torrence.

Hudgens has one message that could save someone’s life.

“If you know someone who is struggling or if you’re that person who is struggling yourself don’t ever think that someone can’t help you. It may not be the first person that you meet it may be the second, or the third or the fourth be an advocate for yourself and find those around you who will support you,” said Hudgens.

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