The former vice president of the San Francisco School Board launched a lawsuit against the school district and five colleagues Wednesday, alleging they violated her freedom of speech, according to a report.
Alison Collins was stripped of her leadership role in a 5-2 vote of no confidence by the San Francisco School Board after ‘anti-Asian’ tweets resurfaced on social media earlier this month.
Collins now seeks $12 million in damages from the school district, along with $3 million in punitive damages from each of the five members who voted for her removal from office, first reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
The former school board vice president’s tweets — which condemned the Asian community as benefitting from white supremacy and using it to “get ahead” — caused widespread indignation.
San Francisco city officials including Mayor London Breed joined the more than 5,400 petition signees in calling for her resignation.
Collins’ string of tweets from 2016 resurfaced at a time when Asian communities across the U.S. are seeing sharp increases in hate crimes and racist interactions.
The former school board vice president’s apologized for the pain her comments have caused, but she also defended them as being “taken out of context.”
“I acknowledge that right now, in this moment, my words taken out of context can be causing more pain for those who are already suffering,” Collins said in a statement. “For the pain, my words may have caused I am sorry, and I apologize unreservedly.”
The board’s decision to remove her leadership title was reportedly in-part a result of her statements following the outcry.
“Although Commissioner Collins has acknowledged that her words may have caused pain, her public statements to-date have fallen short of sincere recognition of the harm she has caused,” the board said in a resolution following the vote, “and Vice President Collins does not seem to take meaningful responsibility for her actions.”
Supporters of Collins have said the move to strip her of her title is “opportunistic” and politically motivated.
Fox News could not immediately reach the San Francisco school board for comment on the recent lawsuit.
Collins reportedly remains on the board despite having her title removed.
Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.
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