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Students sue over alleged drug sting

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POSTED March 18, 2014 6:22 p.m.

CLOVIS (AP) — Two students at a Central California high school are suing the school district, claiming a school employee asked them to take part in a drug sting on campus without the consent of their parents or police, a newspaper reported.

The lawsuit against the Clovis Unified School District, filed in Fresno County earlier this month, also alleges that the employee, Kelly Racca, and another school official encouraged one of the students to lie, the Fresno Bee reported.

District spokeswoman Kelly Avants said Tuesday that the district had not been served with the lawsuit, but it doesn’t typically comment on litigation. Racca did not want to comment, Avants said.

A message at a phone listing for Racca was not immediately returned.

The students are not named in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages. Their attorney, Stephen R. Cornwell, told the Bee other students view them as snitches, and they fear for their safety.

Racca, 36, wanted to stop the sale of marijuana at Clovis North High School about a year ago and asked one of the students, identified in the lawsuit as Mary Roe, to buy the drug with bills whose serial numbers she had recorded, according to the lawsuit.

Racca was a campus monitor and continues to work part-time for the district, Avants said.

The student enlisted the help of the second student, identified in the lawsuit as John Doe. Under Racca’s instruction, John Doe bought marijuana from a student on campus using Racca’s money while Mary took a photograph of the transaction, according to the suit.

They then allegedly turned over the evidence to Racca.

The two students were later questioned by police. The lawsuit says Racca and another employee, Wesley Flowers, encouraged one of them to lie about the sting.

No one picked up at a listing for Flowers on Tuesday morning, and an email to him was not immediately answered. Avants said she would ask Flowers whether he wanted to comment on the suit.

The lawsuit is similar to a case filed in Los Angeles that alleged school officials gave a middle school student cash to buy drugs. A jury awarded the boy $1 million in damages three years ago.

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