Watch CBS News

Update: Ousted San Francisco School Board VP Allison Collins Files Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- SF School Board member Alison Collins on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the SFUSD, the city and county of San Francisco and individual board commissioners after being voted out as Vice President over racist tweets she posted in 2016.

Last week, members of the San Francisco Board of Education approved a "no confidence" vote to remove Collins from her leadership position over the tweets.

Collins has been under fire in recent weeks for the 2016 social media comments. The firestorm over Collins is just the latest involving the embattled leadership of San Francisco schools.

The lawsuit names the San Francisco Unified School District, the city and county of San Francisco as well as individual School Board commissioners Jenny Lam, Faauuga Moliga, Matt Alexander, Kevin Boggess and Mark Sanchez.

Collins is suing for damages for violating her first amendment rights by ousting her based on her tweets, which the suit noted were posted long before she held the position on the school board.

"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 said.

Collins is also suing her colleagues and the district over claims her civil rights were violated and is seeking millions of dollars in damages.

The suit additionally seeks an injunction restoring her as vice president and to her committee positions.

The suit is seeking $12 million in damages from the district, as well as each of the five board members, in addition to an additional $3 million in punitive damages from the five board members, totaling $87 million altogether.

Last Thursday evening, Laura Dudnick with the San Francisco Unified School District confirmed that the SF Board of Education on Thursday passed the resolution "Assertion of No-Confidence," removing Collins from her leadership position as Vice President and from all committees of the San Francisco Board of Education "for the duration of her term and effective immediately."

Dudnick told KPIX the resolution was co-authored by Commissioners Jenny Lam and Faauuga Moliga, and was passed by the SF Board of Education in a vote of 5 to 2.

Collins wrote the tweets, in her words, to combat anti-Black racism in the Asian community.

She wrote "many Asian Americans believe they benefit from the 'model minority' BS. Many Asian American (teachers, students, and parents) actively promote these myths. They use White supremacist thinking to assimilate and 'get ahead.'"

"Talk to many (Lowell High School) parents and you will hear praise of Tiger Moms and disparagement of Black/Brown culture."

She continued, "where are the vocal Asians speaking up against Trump? Don't Asian Americans know they are on his list as well? Do they think they won't be deported? Profiled? Beaten?"

The firestorm over Collins 2016 social media comments is just the latest involving the embattled leadership of San Francisco schools.

Last month, the city sued the SF Board of Education and SFUSD, seeking a court order to speed up the reopening public schools that have been shut down for more than a year during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, a San Francisco superior court judge denied City Attorney Dennis Herrera's request for a preliminary injunction that would force the San Francisco Unified officials to reopen school by the end of April.

Earlier this month, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews announced he was stepping down from his post at the end of June amid the ongoing and contentious reopening battle.

The announcement came just days after the district reached a deal with teachers' union to reopen schools for K-5 students in April. Middle and high school reopenings have not yet been determined

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.