SACRAMENTO (KOVR-TV) — A rally was held outside of West Campus High School in Sacramento on Tuesday. Students and community members gathered to call for action against the students who allegedly used derogatory language and violence towards the school’s Black vice principal, Dr. Elysse Versher.
Demands from the crowd were simple. First, punish the students involved in the racist, violent actions. The second demand was to fire Principal John McMeekin, who attended the rally but refused to speak. “Tomorrow, you line up and you ask the questions to your principal since he doesn’t want to come up and answer them today,” said Voice of the Youth founder Berry Accius.READ MORE: Exclusive: Sources Tell CBS3 Criminal Charges Expected In Fire, Building Collapse That Resulted In Death Of Philadelphia Fire Lt. Sean Williamson
The final demand was to support a Black student union and hire more Black teachers “How many Black teachers are at West Campus? Zero!” Accius exclaimed at the rally.
KOVR-TV first interviewed Dr. Versher last week after racist and violent threats were made to her in front of her parking spot and on social media. The actions were carried out by her own students. “This was the first time in my career that students have been emboldened enough to call me a Black [n-word],” she said.READ MORE: 2 Suspects Fatally Shot During Home Invasion In South Philadelphia, Police Say
For the first time Tuesday and after our repeated requests for an interview, Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jorge Aguilar released a statement on the matter by way of a polished video. “We’re deeply upset with what has transpired within our district family,” Aguilar said.
He then showed up at the rally, promising action. “We are not going to tolerate any kind of racism, any kind of hatred not just on this campus but any campus,” Aguilar said.
Black student union member and West Campus junior Naveah Turk is still fearful to walk through the school’s doors – hoping the students responsible for hate are caught. “The fact that they’re targeting her, they’re targeting us,” Turk said.MORE NEWS: Officer Fires Gun During Struggle With Suspect Wanted For Stealing Car, Philadelphia Police Say
KOVR-TV did ask what repercussions could look like for students who are caught. Aguilar said, for the school, suspensions and expulsions are possible, and for the police investigation, criminal charges could be considered.