If a lawsuit filed in Fresno (Calif.) County Superior Court has any validity, Clovis North High assistant volleyball coach Kelly Racca's heart was in the right place, but she may not have thought her plan to rid the Fresno school of illegal marijuana sales all the way through.
Without any cooperation from the police or school officials, Racca allegedly enlisted two Clovis North students to take part in a botched drug sting, according to a lawsuit obtained by The Fresno Bee.
Upon purchasing marijuana from a classmate, the two students were unlawfully questioned by police and nearly arrested, according to The Fresno Bee report. They are reportedly suing the Clovis Unified School District for unspecified monetary damages. The lawsuit claims the two teens live in fear of "physical harm by drug-related gang actions" and retaliation from fellow students who have dubbed them "snitches."
According to the report, Racca convinced the two students to purchase drugs in exchange for promising to help another recently expelled student re-enroll at the school. The lawsuit claims the two teens completed the transaction one day last year, took a photo of the deal and handed over the evidence to Racca, who was serving as a campus safety monitor in addition to her role as volleyball coach.
However, police allegedly pulled both students separately out of class the following day and questioned them without parental consent. After reportedly providing written statements about their involvement, neither student was arrested. Meanwhile, Racca and a school administrator encouraged the two students to change their tune about who orchestrated the operation, according to the lawsuit.
"It's outrageous what this (employee) wanted them to do," attorney Stephen R. Cornwell told the paper. Cornwell filed the lawsuit on the students' behalf. A Los Angeles jury awarded a student $1 million in a similar case this past December, according to The Fresno Bee.
The two students still attend Clovis North, and Racca reportedly remains a substitute in the school district. She was an assistant on the Clovis North girls' volleyball team that reached the Division I sectional quarterfinals this past fall and is listed as an assistant for the boys' team that is competing this spring. She has also served as director of the Elite Volleyball Club in Fresno in the summer.
- Crime & Justice
- Clovis Unified School District