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Parents Grill School Administrators Over Sex Scandal In West Covina

WEST COVINA ( — A meeting was hosted by school administrators Thursday for parents to address recent allegations against teachers having sex with students.

Concerns ranged from student and teacher interaction through social media to the recent arrest of several teachers within the school district.

Earlier this month, deputies arrested Melody Lippert, 38, and Michelle Chirelli, 30, both instructors at South Hills High School, on suspicion of having sex with high school students during a camping trip at San Clemente State Beach.

west covina teachers
(credit: CBS)

Part-time girls wrestling coach Anthony Vidales was also arrested on suspicion of inappropriate conduct with a student, administrators reported.

Part-Time Girls Wrestling Coach Anthony Vidales
(credit: CBS)

KCAL9's Juan Fernandez spoke with parents after the meeting, who said their children were shocked to find out several of their teachers were arrested.

"My daughter was shocked because she knew one of the teachers," parent Nicole Arias said. "She was in the class, and she knew her."

Most parents who attended the meeting addressed that responsibility does not only fall on school administrators and stood behind their actions.

"Bad decisions by a few people doesn't wreck a high school," argued parent Curtis Dahmen.

"It's my responsibility," parent Trayce Dobson said. "It's not the responsibility of the district to keep up with your children."

During the meeting, administrators reassured parents that they were on the same page regarding the safety of their children.

"I can tell you that if people are going to do things that are inappropriate or put kids at risk, we're going to take swift action," South Hills High School Principal Chad Smith said.

"I'm with you every step of the way," added Covina Valley Unified District Superintendent Catherine Nichols. "We're going to do everything we can in our power to assure the protection of the students."

According to school district officials, six employees are on paid administrative leave pending separate investigations.

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