School field trips are officially cancelled forever now that more information has come out about the drug and alcohol-fueled romps two high school teachers took with their students last year. The Orange County teachers, formerly accused only of sexing and boozing, are now being charged with handing out cocaine as well.
Melody Lippert and Michelle Ghirelli, who were arrested last month, both plan to plead "not guilty" to the charges against them which include "unlawful sexual intercourse and an additional felony count of giving a controlled substance to a minor. Ghirelli was also charged with a felony count of oral copulation of a minor," according to The L.A. Times.
While the two had been accused of doing highly criminal things with their students (specifically getting them drunk in order to facilitate sexual intercourse) that are not in dispute, Ghirelli's lawyer told the L.A. Times that "there are two sides to every story." I don't know what the other side of this one is, especially because of this fascinating tidbit regarding Ghirelli's sexual activities with an adolescent.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Kristin Bracic told The Times in February that the sex between Ghirelli and the underage boy was not in dispute, but Ghirelli had provided various reasons for why she thought the boy was 18.
What? She couldn't have checked the kid's permanent record? Or better yet, decided that "hey, this kid still goes to high school, so whether he's 18 or not, I probably shouldn't fuck with him." Isn't that a school district rule anyway? Never have sex with kids still in high school? I feel like if I wasn't allowed to sign myself out for doctor's appointments during my senior year (after turning 18), that there should at least be something in the district handbook about teacher/student sexual relations.
Both Lippert and Ghirelle face over ten years in prison. They have resigned from the school district, where they had previously been on paid administrative leave.
Ghirelli's lawyer told the L.A. Times that "We intend to plead not guilty and intend to vigorously defend this case. What you will get from the district attorney is what they think they can prove."
Image via Orange County Sheriff's Department