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Sacramento City Unified Creates New Position To Combat Racism On Campuses

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento City Unified School District is working to eradicate racism at its schools. It's hired its first-ever race and equity liaison to tackle the issues while investigating several incidents.

Attorney Mark T. Harris will oversee two internal investigations involving racism. Last summer, CBS13 received a recording of a Kit Carson International Academy teaching using the "N" and "F" words in class.

A few months later, Dr. Elysse Versher says her family became targets of racists and violent threats. 

"Students at West Campus are still posting things about me and my family on social media," said Dr. Versher, a vice principal for West Campus High School who is currently on medical leave.

She sent a screengrab of someone posting her family's picture online with a monkey and banana. Months after the harassment began, she wants to know what's being done.

Harris told CBS13 that he plans to instill transparency and accountability into the two high-profile cases.

"Then encourage the district to take the necessary disciplinary steps once it's determined who's responsible both at Kit Carson and West Campus," Harris said. "I am first, second and third focused on that."

But community leaders say the appointment doesn't go far enough

"We're putting a Band-Aid on cancer," said activists Berry Accius.

He says students demanded the students involved in the West Campus case be punished. They also asked for more training, the hiring of more Black educators and support for Black student unions.

The district is already implemented mandatory anti-racism training and it's working to improve the culture at the schools.

While the investigations are underway, Dr. Versher doesn't know if she'll return to the school.

"After this, I don't know if I have the capacity," she said. "I don't know."

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