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Sacramento police, school district investigating racist incident at West Campus High School

Assistant Principal Dr. Elysse Versher said she was so traumatized by the racist graffiti that she ended up in the hospital with stress-induced seizures

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento City Unified School District have opened an investigation after an assistant principal at West Campus High School was targeted with personal attacks online and racist graffiti near her parking space.

"I walked to where my assigned parking spot is and saw the 'n-word' five times - five times," said Dr. Elysse Versher, who has worked for the school district for three years.

“Racism and racist language are deplorable, and hurtful to our entire community of students and staff, especially when directed at specific individuals,” said Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar in a statement, promising a full investigation.

Versher said she became the target of racist harassments on social media for trying to enforce the dress code. On Monday, the abuse moved into the real world.

"I screamed. I just couldn’t believe it," Versher said of her reaction to the graffiti next to her parking space. 

On Wednesday, Versher was taken to Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center after suffering stress-induced seizures, something she says she has never experienced before. 

Versher said Sacramento Police have been responsive and parents have been supportive, but she is still demanding lasting change from the school district and will continue to speak out.

"We’re afraid that people will say you’re playing the race card, and so we don’t say anything," Versher said. "And I feel like being quiet has just given consent to this hate crime to just keep happening."

Sacramento community group Voice of the Youth has organized a rally in support of Versher for Tuesday afternoon at West Campus High School.


Words matter when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community and personal identity