School board member comments on prostitution near school campus

It was an average Tuesday morning on an average Memphis street.  But we had a not so average encounter when a woman waved us into a parking lot.  She propositioned Reporter Jason Miles and his photographer in broad daylight.

"You got 50 dollars?" she asked.  "I got a room right here," she said.

She not only quoted a price, but showed us exactly what $50 would buy.  The encounter took place within walking distance of Alton Elementary, Corry Middle, Longview Middle, and Hamilton High Schools.  Hundreds of children walk the same streets.  In fact, Action News Five pulled piles of police reports outlining hundreds of prostitution arrests that have taken place close to a number of Memphis City Schools.  It's too close for comfort for grandmother Ora Dorris.

"I wouldn't want my grandchildren to see it--to witness any of that," she said.

Her four grand kids go to school just a few blocks from where we caught this apparent prostitute on camera.

"I think it's a bad influence on the children--a bad influence," said Dorris.

We took our tape to school board member Wanda Halbert.

"It's not good," said Halbert.  "It's definitely not good and it makes you wonder where's the police when you really need them," she added.

With so many public schools in Memphis and many neighborhoods where prostitution is a problem, police say there's only so much they can do.  Dig into police reports a little deeper and it's easy to see that Memphis Police routinely conduct sting operations aimed at taking prostitutes off the streets.  Bellevue and Elvis Presley Boulevard, North of 1-240, is just one of the hot spots.

"It doesn't matter how many schools, that it may go on a lot, it must be stopped," Halbert told us.  "We can't expose our children to this type of behavior," she added.

It's a type of behavior that is commonly called "the world's oldest profession."  That is an indication of how difficult it might be to stop, even those "working" steps from what could be your child's school.