Society

Two California Teachers Arrested For Having Sexual Relations With High School Students

| by Lisa Fogarty

Two teachers from the Covina-Valley Unified School District in California have been arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with male students from South Hills High School.

English teacher Melody Lippert, 38, reportedly supplied alcohol to a group of male students while at San Clemente State Beach in November 2014 and is accused of having sexual relations with one of the students at that time, reports ABC 7.

A few weeks after the alleged incident, Lippert reportedly organized an overnight camping trip at San Clemente State Beach and brought 30-year-old district employee Michelle Ghirelli along as a chaperone. Ghirelli was reportedly employed as a teacher at South Hills before she was assigned to work in the school district’s offices, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Both district employees reportedly engaged in sexual relations with some of the students, many of whom were also involved in the first incident. CBS describes what happened as follows:

Several weeks later, Lippert and Chirelli scheduled an overnight camping trip at the beach with several of the same students. They are accused of having sex with two male students during that trip.

The trip was not a school-sponsored event, according to officials.

Lippert is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail and is suspected of conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Ghirelli is being held on $50,000 bail and faces charges of oral copulation and unlawful sex with a minor.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said it would not be releasing additional details about the young victims. Both women have reportedly been released from custody and are scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday. In the meantime, they have been put on paid administrative leave and have been removed from the classroom, according to a spokeswoman from Covina-Valley Unified School District.

This is the second time in less than two weeks that an employee from the school district has been arrested for having sexual relations with students. South Hills High School’s part-time wrestling coach Anthony Vidales, 29, was recently arrested and accused of having inappropriate contact with a 17-year-old student.

Sources: ABC 7, Los Angeles Times/Photo Credit: Orange County Sheriff’s Department