Covina-Valley Teachers Charged With Providing Alcohol to Students During Camping Trip: DA

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Michelle Ghirelli, left, and Melody Lippert, right, are seen in booking photos provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Two Covina-Valley Unified School District teachers were charged Wednesday with contributing to the delinquency of a minor after allegedly providing alcohol to underage students during a camping trip.

Melody Suzanne Lippert, 38, and Michelle Louise Ghirelli, 30, faced a maximum of one year in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor charge, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

There were initially allegations that the teachers had sexual relations with two students during the trip, but the DA’s Office determined there was insufficient evidence to pursue additional charges at this time, according to the release.

Lippert was accused of organizing the unapproved school trip to San Clemente Beach by sending out a group text message inviting co-defendant Ghirelli and five male high school students, according to the release.

During the camping trip, which occurred between Dec. 27, 2014, and Dec. 29, 2014, the two teachers allegedly distributed alcohol to the underage students, the DA’s Office stated.

At the time of the trip, Lippert was a teacher at South Hills High School in West Covina and Ghirelli was employed at the Covina-Valley Unified School District, the release stated.

The Covina-Valley Unified School District initially reported the case to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.