THERMAL, Calif. -

Today nearly three quarters of the teachers at Desert Mirage High School called out sick, calling for dozens of substitute teachers.

Richard Razo, President of the Coachella Valley Teacher's Association, said this wasn't an organized sickout, which is illegal, rather an unusually high number of teacher's who called in sick.

"Teacher's first and main priority is the safety and education of our children, so I know that they would not do this unless they were ill," said Razo.

The teacher's association and CVUSD have been negotiating a new contract for over a year now. Razo said they are asking for three things;

"A salary that will keep us competitive with other districts, we're looking for collaboration time, so we can benefit our children, prep time so that we can prepare those lesson for those children."

The contract conflicts gained attention across the student body at Desert Mirage High School. Junior Vice President, Jennifer Flores, decided to postpone homecoming in support of the teachers.

"The things that they do for us, we appreciate it so much that we wanted to show our appreciation for them, as they have always supported us," said Flores.

Dr. Darryl Adams, Superintendent of Schools, provided us with this statement:

"The Coachella Valley Unified School District experienced a higher number of teacher absences at one of our high schools today. In light of this occurrence, which district administrators are looking at as an anomaly, additional staff and teachers are on hand maintaining normal school operations and class schedules for students. Coachella Valley Unified is committed to maintaining a high quality education program for all students, and will continue to take appropriate measures to ensure minimal disruptions in the classroom."