CONTENT WARNING: This article contains information regarding attempted suicide. If you are struggling with depression or have thoughts of suicide, there is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento City Unified said Friday it completed its investigation into racist graffiti at West Campus High School and could not identify the person responsible for the incident which was one of many targeted acts Vice Principal Dr. Elysse Versher cited in her resignation letter.READ MORE: HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra Pledges To Protect Access To Reproductive Health Care
The district said it hired a neutral outside private investigator, separate from a Sacramento police investigation into the matter, who spent six months reviewing the graffiti and online activity Dr. Versher, a Black woman, said was directed at her and her two young children. The investigator was tasked with determining if the derogatory terms online and painted near Dr. Verhser’s campus parking spot were directed at her and if the district took appropriate action in response to it.
Sacramento City Unified said the investigator determined Dr. Versher was, in fact, the target of the racist language and that the district did take appropriate action following the November 2021 incident.
“The District is committed to addressing racism and hoped that this investigation would lead to accountability for anyone who participated in this racist activity at West Campus. I am frustrated and disappointed that those responsible have not yet been identified. We know many in our community share this frustration,” district Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar said.READ MORE: Airbnb Permanently Bans Parties At Its Rental Locations
Sacramento City Unified confirmed on May 19 that Dr. Versher had submitted her resignation, effective June 17, following the end of the school year.
In her letter to the district, Dr. Versher detailed alleged past incidents she says brought “trauma, mental anguish, and PTSD” to her and her family. (WARNING: The letter, which can be read in full here, contains graphic and troubling accusations.) Dr. Versher said in her letter that “consistent racial and sexual harassment” on the job led her to attempt suicide.
Dr. Verhser said she also had multiple stress-induced seizures just days after the November incident.
“The hate crime committed against me could have and should have been prevented. Principal John McMeekin, Instructional Area Superintendent Chad Sweitzer, and Human Resources failed to fully investigate my countless, documented racial and sexual harassment concerns,” she wrote in her letter.MORE NEWS: FDA Advisers To Consider Whether Omicron-Specific COVID Vaccines Are Needed
Sacramento City Unified said that though their investigation was inconclusive in determining who was responsible for the acts, a Sacramento police investigation into it remains active.