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News Update

Racist graffiti targeting Sacramento assistant principal investigated as hate crime

Racist graffiti at Sacramento’s West Campus High School as well as online attacks targeted at assistant principal Elysse Versher are now being investigated by authorities as a hate crime.

Versher, a Black woman, was made aware on Nov. 5 of racist online comments about her, she told the Sacramento Bee, including use of the N-word. The comments appeared to be sparked by Versher’s enforcement of the school’s dress code, which requires masks to be worn on campus per district policy.

The following Monday, when she arrived at school she found a racist slur written five times directly across from her designated parking spot. Her family members have also received threats via email, she says.

On Wednesday, Versher was hospitalized after suffering stress-induced seizures from the torment, KXTV reported.

Versher told the Bee that racism and hatred she has endured stems from a “culture that has gone unchecked.”

“This had nothing to do with the dress code but an opportunity for students to see that a Black woman has the audacity to make non-Black students uncomfortable and inconvenienced by enforcing the dress code,” Versher told the Bee. “(It) has been around forever and has been enforced by my white colleagues without incident for quite a long time.”

Sacramento City Unified superintendent Jorge Aguilar released a video message Tuesday calling for a “reckoning on race at all levels” at the district.

“To make all of our schools pro-social learning environments that stand against racism and hatred, our efforts must impact every aspect of our organization, and flow from our boardroom to our classroom,” Aguilar said.