‘They don’t see me’: South Sacramento vice principal targeted by racist graffiti, social media posts

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — An assistant principal at a South Sacramento school was recently the target of racist social media posts and graffiti, the school said Tuesday.

“I’ve never had anxiety like I’ve had it these past few days,” said Dr. Elysse Versher. 

Dr. Versher is the assistant principal at West Campus High School. The posts that targeted her also complained about the campus dress code.

“This has nothing to do with the dress code. It has everything to do with the racist culture that has permeated throughout this campus, at least in the three years that I’ve been here as assistant principal,” Dr. Versher said. 

Over the weekend, racial slurs were written on a campus wall near Dr. Versher’s parking space. They have since been removed. 

“And walking to the back parking lot where the vice principal parking spot is, it says vice principal, and looking directly across and seeing the word n***** five times across from my parking spot resonated as a message and another threat against my safety,” Dr. Versher told FOX40. 

Following the incidents, Dr. Versher said the Sacramento City Unified School District has gone above and beyond to support her by providing extra security on campus. 

“I know that this investigation is being taken seriously,” Dr. Versher said. 

In a Tuesday letter that went home to parents, Principal John McMeekin strongly condemned the incidents of hate speech. He said he was also aware of threatening electronic communications made directly to Dr. Versher’s family members. 

They don’t see me … I think that’s what hurts the most.

Dr. Elysse Versher

McMeekin assured the campus community “behaviors such as these that are racially motivated have no place at West Campus.” He went on to say that police are involved, and it will be investigated, with the “appropriate disciplinary consequences” to be applied to the responsible party. 

Dr. Versher opened up about how the hateful words made her feel. 

“When I walk around school, I used to be happy; I used to smile. I used to feel cheerful. Now, I feel like everybody just sees a ******. They don’t see somebody who came from South Central and made a name for herself,” Dr. Versher said. “They don’t see a wife — They don’t see a mom. They don’t see the me who is working with students on their personal statements. They don’t see me, who has given DoorDash to kids during distance learning when they couldn’t make it here because the bus was shut down. They see a Black ****** *****, and they reminded me that when they put it near my parking spot. And I think that’s what hurts the most.”

The Sacramento Police Department sent FOX40 a statement Tuesday night, saying “an incident like this is concerning and the department is following up on the circumstances of this report as a bias or hate-related crime.”

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