WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — Students will return to class Tuesday for the first time since two female teachers were arrested for allegedly having sex with students on a beach camping trip.
Melody Lippert, 38, and Michelle Ghirelli, 30, both current or former instructors at South Hills High School, were arrested Saturday after West Covina police alerted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Friday about the alleged misconduct that occurred at San Clemente State Beach.
Lippert, an English teacher, allegedly met up with a group of South Hills High teen boys at the beach in November 2014 on a trip that wasn’t sponsored by the school. Investigators say she supplied the boys with alcohol and had sex with an 18-yea-old student.
Several weeks later, Lippert and Ghirelli, a teacher who had been working at the district office on special assignment, scheduled an overnight camping trip at the beach with several of the same students. They are accused of having sex with two male students, one who was 17 years old, during that trip.
“It was all over social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,” said junior Daniel Sullivan.
Lippert was arrested for conspiracy, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Ghirelli was booked for oral copulation and unlawful sex with a minor.
“I had Ms. Lippert my freshman year and she didn’t seem like a teacher like that,” Sullivan added.
Both women, who are currently on administrative leave, have posted bail and are scheduled to be arraigned in court on Wednesday. Charges have yet to filed.
The Covina Valley Unified School District has notified parents.
“We have to take these allegations very seriously, and as soon as we heard about this, we contacted the West Covina Police Department and began working with their detectives immediately,” CVUSD spokesperson Michelle Van Der Linden said.
Neighbors say both women are married with families.
Detectives believe there could be more victims. Anyone with information regarding these alleged crimes is urged to contact deputies at (714) 647-7000 or (714) 647-7418.