Kennebunk schools prepare for effects of prostitution scandal

5:06 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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Photo courtesy: York County Coast Star.

KENNEBUNK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- We could know the names of some of the alleged johns in the Kennebunk prostitution case as early as this week. 29-year old Zumba instructor Alexis Wright was indicted last week on 106 counts, including promotion of prostitution and engaging in prostitution in connection with this case. 59-year old Mark Strong of Thomaston has been indicted on 59 counts, including promotion of prostitution.

Wright reportedly kept extensive records, and may have the names of as many as 150 people on her list of johns. Now some community members are talking about how the release of this list could affect children. Kennebunk's school superintendent, Andrew Dolloff, sent a letter to staff members at the end of last week, asking them to be aware that students could be impacted by this case.

The letter asks staff members to make sure principals and guidance counselors are aware of students who have family members on the list, and that they look out for those students. Also, staff and students are not to joke or gossip about the prostitution scandal. Dolloff says this is really standard procedure at his school, as students are dealing with complicated or embarrassing family issues all the time. The only difference here is that this scandal is so public and could be far-reaching. Dolloff is hoping that talking this through ahead of time will lead people to be more sensitive.

"At first I think the jokes and innuendos come because it is an adult problem," Dolloff said. "But I think what we realized quickly is, it's not a victimless crime."

Rebecca Brown at Community Counseling Center in Portland says the most important thing for parents to remember if they or someone they know is affected by this list is that kids need the truth. They don't necessarily need all the details, but you should give them factual information. She also says this is a good opportunity to show kids the importance of supporting each other, listening to each others concerns, and not bullying. "What do you do as a person to support your friends? You listen. You don't tease. You support them, all those steps that we take of how to treat other people with respect or empathy," Brown said.

If you are in crisis or are worried about a loved one, you can call the statewide hotline is 1-888-568-1112.


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