Online pornography is yet another sexual trend found among school children and has fueled a new generation of paraphelia.
Children, at younger ages, are being exposed and introduced to pornography they would never had access to 10 years ago. "A lot of kids are addicted to online pornography," says Yeager. "With it, there is no delay. A child could sit in front of a computer for literally 8 hours and never see the same person twice."
As far as law enforcement is concerned, this is generally a touchy subject, the same as it is with parents or anyone who does not live in the mind of a teenager in 2006.
"Kids shouldn't have sex," says Yeager. "They can't get to school on time. They can't find their lockers. They can't remember their combinations, but somehow they are going to be responsible with sex? When kids have sex, you're looking at date rape, pregnancy, STDs, and girls who have sex with older men, which is common, have higher rates of poverty and being a drop out."
If law enforcement does not understand the full extent of sexual aggression among children, it will not be able to investigate, and more importantly, predict and prevent it.
Each morning, the SERAPH staff sits around a table and fields questions from superintendents, detectives, police officers, school resource officers (SROs) and teachers about just this topic. "It's like a phone bank," says Yeager. "Cops over and over are asking, 'Well, what's that?' They don't know the sex connection between all these issues."
Keep your cool
"At Columbine, 38 percent of the teachers abandoned the students and ran out of the building," says Yeager. "On 9/11, in southern Connecticut, northern New Jersey and the suburbs of New York State, 60 percent of the adult staff of all schools left without permission that day and abandoned the kids."
Controlling individual panic factors is a skill all law enforcement officers must have. It's a learned trait, for sure, says Yeager. Police departments must have an active role when schools develop emergency plans, helping them make effective exit routes, etc. However, "here's the problem," he explains. "When in the middle of an emergency, you need to know how to control your heart rate, blood pressure, because those things affect your ability to move and make cognitive decisions. A plan is only as good as the people who execute it."
This educator notes that regularly he sees officers not trained on managing their physical bodies during an emergency. The proof, he says, is in the firearms' accuracy studies. In police departments, the hit ratio is 5 to 6 percent, while in the federal sector, it is 80 percent. The difference? "They train their eyes and breathing," says Yeager. With the local agencies, "an officer's heart rate is at more than 140 beats per second; they've lost their fine motor skills."
School safety is about the students, yes, but it is also about the law enforcement officers who watch over them. In an emergency, Yeager explains an officer will need to do three things.
The first is control his biology to be functioning correctly and at full power during the emergency. Second, an officer must know how to control groups of people, specifically children, "because kids panic differently," he adds. Third, is the ability to make critical decisions in an instant. "An emergency is different than getting shot at," says Yeager. "It is dealing with large groups of people, angry parents, and there are a lot of skills which need to be developed to make sure you can do that correctly."
Skills for a solution
"There is a huge learning gap in law enforcement when it comes to adolescent aggression," Yeager says. "We're not here to reinvent the wheel. We're not here to tell you what you're doing is wrong. We're here to take your experiences and make sense out of them, and put a system together you can use simply and easily every day to predict and prevent."
There will always be resistance to change and growth, he admits. "You have certain people in education who are scared of anything that reeks of violence, so they put their heads in the sand."