The number of racial and hate crime incidents has increased in 2021 and that trend continued this year, the results of the data gathered by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at CSU has shown. What is even more concerning is the fact that in the last couple of months, racially motivated incidents in schools have also increased, something that should bother every single American regardless of their age and race.
Recently, a Black woman, who has worked as a Vice High School Principal, informed the public that she decided to resign from the position because she feared for her life while at work due to constant racial and sexual harassment by students and parents of students. In addition, she claims that the school district did almost nothing in protecting her from the constant attacks that lasted for several years.
According to FOX 40 that was among the first that reported about this case, Dr. Elysse Versher resigned as vice-principal of the Ca. based West Campus High School late May because of racial and sexual harassment and the school district’s inability to take proper actions in punishing the students involved and protect her while at work.
Versher claims that she has been a constant victim of racism in the last couple of years. The first incident allegedly happened in 2019 when a parent reportedly told her that she only got her job because of affirmative action. The school district did nothing to investigate the case. In March 2020, Versher had been sexually harassed by a coworker. Initially, she reported the incident to the principal, but no measures were taken. Later that year, she informed the school district’s Superintendent, but again, nothing had been done. The Superintendent apologized, but there was no investigation into the matter.
In November 2021, Versher was a target of racist social media posts and graffiti, West Campus High School said. In her letter of resignation sent to FOX40, Versher said, “students came in droves to produce evidence of their peers racially harassing me and posting hateful words and images on the face of my -then- 4-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.” Versher, in November, returned to her campus parking spot to find racist language written on the wall in front of it.
When she reported the case to the school’s principal and to the human resources department, the principal allegedly told her that nothing can be done and no investigation will be conducted because students calling her racist-name during class was a “free speech”. “This is the first time in my career that students have been emboldened enough to call me a Black N-word,” Versher previously told CBS.
Versher said that the racial and sexual harassment continued in the following months, December of 2021 and January and February this year. Being a constant victim of racism and sexual harassment for years resulted with mental and emotional breakdown. The series of events eventually led a “suicide attempt and multiple stress-induced seizures.”
“I do not have the strength to continue enduring this physically, mentally and emotionally unsafe working environment. This letter serves as notification of my intent to resign as Assistant Principal at West Campus High School, effective on June 17, 2022,” Versher said in her letter.
Few days ago, Versher confirmed that she filed a lawsuit against the school district and the high school principal. Versher is suing in part for discrimination on the basis of race, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, and harassment on the basis of race. The lawsuit includes a total of 10 people.