San Francisco school board member sues after being removed as VP over anti-Asian tweets

Afdal Agency
Amnon Jakony (Jay Arts Holdings)

The former vice president of the San Francisco School Board has filed a lawsuit against the district and her fellow board commissioners after she was booted from leadership over controversial comments she made against Asian Americans.

What are the details?

Alison Collins came under fire nationally last month after a group seeking to recall several school board members due to their refusal to re-open schools released several of the then-vice president’s 2016 tweets expressing anti-Asian views and calling those who did not speak out against former President Donald Trump as “house” N-words.

Collins, who is African American, also said that many Asian Americans use “white supremacist thinking” to “get ahead.”

Soon after, the school board voted to strip her of her leadership position, citing her Twitter comments.

In reaction, Collins has filed a lawsuit seeking $87 million in damages from the district and the five fellow board members who voted for removing her as vice president of their panel.

The San Francisco Gate reported that the lawsuit claims the resolution stripping Collins of her leadership was illegal and violated her First Amendment rights.

“Rather than take actions to protect Black and Brown children from racist harassment and bullying, defendants opted to ‘burn’ the messenger, using a pretzel-twisted redirection of Ms. Collins’ seasoned social metaphors aimed at uniting all marginalized, colonized and racially oppressed people against racism and oppression,” the suit reads.

It also alleges that removing Collins from her role as vice president caused “irreparable injury, loss and damage to Ms. Collins, including damage to her reputation and standing in the community.”

Collins and her supporters also staged a demonstration outside the San Francisco United School District headquarters on Wednesday afternoon to protest the board’s action against her.

During the rally, Collins continued to defend her position, saying, “I will unapologetically pursue equity and empowerment of Black, Latin, Asian, Arab, and other communities regardless of the opportunistic and meritless attacks directed towards me.”

KGO-TV reported that “while many spoke to support [Collins] Wednesday outside the district headquarters, at one point she was interrupted by a man yelling ‘resign,’ to which the crowd began to chant.”

Attorney Charles Bonner, who is representing Collins in the suit, declared, “We demand to have a special meeting and restore Alison to her seat. They will take no further action against Alison. They can do what we say, then this lawsuit gets shredded.”

The SFUSD did not immediately respond to requests for comment from KGO or The Gate, saying they had just been made aware of the lawsuit. KGO noted that “San Francisco Mayor London Breed and 10 of 11 San Francisco Supervisors have previously called for Collins to resign.”