SF school board member sues district, colleagues over response to her tweets

The San Francisco School Board member who has been the subject of heavy criticism for her Tweets is pushing back.  HARD.

Alison Collins just dropped a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit on her fellow Board members along with the School District itself. This tempest pitting a Black woman against the San Francisco power structure has now become a national, if not international, news event.

In brief. Ms Collins is strenuously, to say the least, disputing the allegations that her Tweets were anti-Asian and racist

In her Federal lawsuit a quote by the famous German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöeller is affixed to the Complaint.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 3.31.2021

A San Francisco school board member accused her colleagues and the school district in a suit Wednesday of retaliation, saying they violated her free speech rights by stripping her of her position as vice president and removing her from committees over tweets she posted in 2016 about Asian Americans.

In the lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco, Alison Collins seeks $72 million in general damages from the school district and the five board members who supported a no-confidence vote against her, plus $3 million in punitive damages from each of those same board members.

Alison Collins II 3.31.2021.jpg

Collins, who declined comment about the lawsuit Wednesday, also seeks an injunction restoring her as vice president and to her committee positions.

The lawsuit alleges that the vote to strip her of her leadership roles was an illegal act that violated Collins’ due process and caused her to suffer losses in income, significant loss of reputation, severe mental and emotional distress, and humiliation.

“When Ms. Collins refused to resign her elected position as commissioner, defendants lit their torches, sprinting to judgment in twenty-four hours, with less due process than given to victims of Malleus Maleficarum,” Bonner, wrote in the suit, referring to a manual for witch hunters.

The lawsuit claims Collins’s tweets were related to her attempts to address bullying and anti-Black behavior at her daughter’s school.

Bonner claims the board and its members violated Collins’ freedom of speech by falsely labeling her a racist. The actual purpose of her tweets, he said in the suit, was protecting Black and brown children from racist bullying and harassment.

“The false narrative and assertion that Ms. Collins’ comments imploring Asian Americans to resist oppression as ‘racist’ has generated this ongoing and intensifying hostility, (causing) threats and damage to Ms. Collins reputation and threatening her and her family’s physical well-being,” Bonner wrote.