By The Vanguard Staff
SACRAMENTO, CA – The vice principal of West Campus High School here resigned late last week, citing years of “racist and sexist harassment from students, parents and schools employees,” according to a press statement by the Greater Sacramento NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
The Greater Sacramento NAACP charged this is “not an isolated incident. Black women education leaders have faced a pattern of racist abuse, often accompanied by inaction from top administrators.”
Elysse Versher, in a resignation letter, said, “After three years of trying to have faith in the District to address the racial and sexual harassment I have experienced, I now know that the District is only interested in protecting its image and not the lives of its employees.”
Versher explained she was resigning following a work-related “hate crime…after experiencing an unsuccessful suicide attempt and multiple stress-induced seizures due to the consistent racial and sexual harassment.”
She continued, “SCTA, SEIU, and UPE members shared an overwhelming vote of no confidence in (Sacramento City Unified School District) Supt. (Jorge) Aguilar,” noting she hopes “other employees will never have to experience the trauma, mental anguish, and PTSD that has greatly affected me and my family’s life.”
Versher said she was the subject of hate language, including the “N-word,” was sexually harassed, her tire was slashed, and she was the victim of cybercrimes, among other attacks—and that the school and district did nothing.
The GSNAACP charged, “In recent months, Black women administrators in the Sacramento City Unified, Roseville Joint Union, and Los Rios Community College Districts have been subjected to racist threats and violence, sexual harassment, and scapegoating.”
The NAACP maintains, “Senior administrator—many of whom are white men—fail to protect those who are consistently being harmed. Worse, they often side with those causing the harm, thereby perpetuating a culture of white male dominance.”
The NAACP asserts there is a “pattern (which) exploits Black women professionals and helps to support and maintain underlying white supremacy cultures.”
The local NAACP explains, “School boards and district leaders congratulate themselves when they recruit and hire Black teachers and administrators…they consistently fail to address the systemic racism Black people, especially women are exposed to once hired.”
In the local NAACP letter, the group urges “Sacramento regional education leaders to investigate resignation and retention rates for Black women in education.
“Our evidence suggests—and we think you will find—that Black women leave at disproportionately high rates due to the constant abuse they endure and lack of support from colleagues, top administrators, and elected leaders,” the group argues.
The NAACP chapter added, “The GSNAACP condemns the willful resistance of administrators who lack the leadership, courage and commitment to use their power to transform campus cultures and protect Black women. “Vice Principal Versher’s resignation letter…is a tragic depiction of what Black women face every day. We honor her courage in giving the public a glimpse of her dreadful experience.”
Versher, after detailing and documenting a long series of attacks at her campus against her, said, as indicated above, “After three years of trying to have faith in the District to address the racial and sexual harassment I have experienced, I now know that the District is only interested in protecting its image and not the lives of its employees.”
She added, “I do not have the strength to continue enduring this physically, mentally and emotionally unsafe working environment,” noting her resignation “After experiencing multiple stressed induced seizures on November 10, 2021, and an unsuccessful suicide attempt in December 2021.”