Rally held at West Campus High School to support vice principal, call for change

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) —The fight for justice for Vice Principal Dr. Elysee Versher continues. 

Dr. Versher was the victim of a hate crime at West Campus High School and received several threats on social media. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the NAACP vowed to support her, and now more are joining in. 

Community activist Berry Accius and others gathered outside of West Campus on Tuesday, saying they are not letting the Sacrament City Unified School District sweep what happened under the rug. 

Dr. Versher previously told FOX40 the abuse and the racist threats at West Campus have been going on for at least three years, with no action from the district. She said the ordeal has caused her family to go into hiding and has given her three stress-induced seizures

Accius, school administrators and a crowd of students stood outside the school demanding change in the district.

“And what needs to happen, just like what would happen to a Black student if they were acting up in classroom,” Accius said. “Like what would happen to a Black student if they were acting up in classroom, you must be expelled. You must be taken out the district. You must be held accountable with the highest consequences.”

“They never take this long to put Black students out of school. They never do this long of an investigation for any other reason,” said Lorreen Pryor, president of Black Youth Leadership Project.

During her interview, Dr. Versher said the racist comments were less about the dress code and more about the racist culture at the school.

Student Nevaeh Turk said resources for Black students on campus are not where they should be, including for the Black Student Union. 

“Trying to create a community and a family for Black students here at the BSU it’s so important, but we’re so underfunded to where we can’t do just things that other clubs do because we don’t have the funding,” Turk said. 

Superintendent Jorge Aguilar made an appearance at the rally and addressed many people who are frustrated with him in the community. 

“Every aspect of this organization is going to have to deal with racial reckoning. Not some parts of our organization, not some of our units or departments and not just some of our schools, but every single aspect of this organization,” Aguilar said. 

The pressure was put on the superintendent as many from the crowd asked him about follow through on the incident and others in the district, background checks on teachers and administrators, and even firing the West Campus principal. 

“I wish that we could move faster sometimes in something like this because it is so abhorrent and so heinous in nature, but we do again have to be impatiently patient about this and make sure that the investigation is done well,” Aguilar said.

He said the district will be moving forward with new tactics in addressing racism. Aguilar also said he cannot comment on the ongoing police investigation, but he promised to do more and hold more people accountable for their actions. 

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