The terrifying shooting incident at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown not only gave birth to a range of conspiracy theories but also sparked the nationwide raging debate over gun control laws and gun rights for civilians in the country. Among the many questions, a leading one for all concerned is whether dangerous behavior or tendency to such horrific violence can be predicted so as to save lives before their irrevocable loss.
A recently published book Soul Rape (Loving Healing Press, 2012), by Heyward Bruce Ewart Ph.D., D.D., has the answer in affirmative. In his book, Florida-based pastor, psychotherapist, and author Dr. Heyward Ewart proposes a “Student Critical Symptoms Questionnaire” that could help prevent massacres in schools and colleges/universities. Following is how Dr. Ewart describes his test in brief.
Student Critical Symptoms Questionnaire (SCSQ)
This test has been developed for students from junior high to college. It is most effective for males but can also be used for females. It may also be adapted easily for the workplace.
Instructions for Administration
All 77 questions, which are listed in the book, are to be read aloud by the examiner and answered “yes” or “no” by the student. Positive responses indicate a risk to some degree because every question can prompt an abnormal “yes” response.
This is a Preliminary effort to develop a valid test, but in its present stage of development, it can give only clues. The number of positive responses justifying further evaluation by a qualified psychologist has yet to be established. However, the examiner may give added weight to certain responses, according to the examiner’s own best judgment, especially if experienced and if familiar with examinee’s history. Questions can be repeated upon request.
Before administration, put the student at ease by explaining that this is a routine test to determine anything special that the school can do to make him/her comfortable. State that this questionnaire may not be necessary in his/her case, but that all students are given this opportunity, especially when new to the school, and that it is for their benefit.
Say to the student, “Here are some questions I’m going to ask. Some may sound strange, but don’t let that bother you. Remember that this questionnaire is given to many people, and everybody’s background is different. Please answer “yes” or “no”, whichever comes to you first. Try not to hesitate. Let’s begin. This won’t take long.”
Note that before beginning the numbered questions, ask the subject if he has ever suffered a head injury, been unconscious, or been without oxygen. Certain types of brain damage can cause unpredictable explosive behavior, often without recall. If a head injury, ask what area of the skull was impacted. If indicated, consult a neurologist or a psychiatrist to inquire about possible ramifications.
Researchers interested in helping validate the SCSQ should contact Dr. Ewart at: heywardewart at comcast.net. To learn more about Dr. Heyward Ewart and his work, visit his website http://stjamestheelderseminary.org/.