By Mary Rose Fissinger
Sixty students took advantage of the administration’s decision to allow students to take an excused absence with parental consent to attend the Coachella Music Festival.
Of the 60 students, a few attended morning classes and then left early. As of 3 p.m. Friday, 798 classes had been missed, and that number was still climbing due to teachers who had not yet reported absences, attendance supervisor Gabe Preciado said.
Last year, when Coachella was not considered an excused absence and all those missing for that reason were subject to detention, 29 students were known to have missed school that Friday to attend the music festival. Many others gave false reasons for missing school. A total of 700 classes were missed on that day.
Despite the larger number of missed classes this year, Preciado was happy that more students were honest about why they weren’t at school.
“People pretty much put down [on the green sheet] where they ended up,” he said. “We like honesty.”
“Whether we allow it or not, the absences will be there,” Preciado said.
Other students were absent Friday for different reasons or had not yet provided an excuse, Preciado said. Many seniors use this time of year to visit colleges, and of course there are a few illnesses, he said.
If students attended Coachella but did not fill out a green sheet beforehand or have a parent call, they are still subject to detention for an unexcused absence.