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Teachers threaten to boycott Palm Desert High School graduation over contract dispute

Students may pay if administrators refuse to attend ceremony in continuing dispute with district

Palm Desert High School prepares for graduation.

PALM DESERT, Calif. - As the Palm Desert High School faculty prepares for graduation, they might have less help from teachers than ever before. Teachers have threatened to boycott the graduation over a contract dispute.

"I'll be at graduation. I'm hoping the teachers will be there to enjoy the seniors and their gradation," Palm Desert High School principal Rob Hicks said.

Thursday night, about 420 graduates and 5000 guests will fill the football stadium. Usually 30 to 50 teachers volunteer to help things run smoothly.

"Teachers are usually row marshals. We'll have a teacher at the end of each row and they'll help guide them make sure they get the right row," Hicks said.

As to whether or not teachers will show up to volunteer, "There are some that will be there I know for sure. We have volunteers sitting at the side ready to fill in if need be," Hicks said.

Those volunteers include custodians, bus drivers, and other classified staff - and parents.      

"At this point of time they're on the waiting list, so we have things filled," Hicks said.

However, do parents want to be working as their child walks across the stage?

"I couldn't answer that. I don't know.They might want to be on the field they might not, I don't know. We haven't got that far. We haven't needed to do that yet," Hicks said.

The school is prepared - and focused on the occasion.

"It's their night, their family's night, it's a special time everyone will remember. That's my main objective to make it their night," Hicks said.

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