Ousted school board VP seeks $87 million; suing district, city, and colleagues for ‘spiritual damage to her soul’

The San Francisco school board member who allegedly smeared Asian-American in a series of tweets has lawyered up and is seeking millions in money damages from her colleagues for, among things, “spiritual injury to her soul.”

Alison Colins was vice president of the school board until she was stripped of her committee assignments as part of a no-confidence vote once the 2016 tweets (posted when she was a private citizen) surfaced. She is still a board member, however, despite widespread calls by officials from the mayor on down for her to resign.

In a 48-page federal lawsuit containing seven causes of action, including free speech violations, and that requests a jury trial, Colins names as defendants the San Francisco Unified School District, the city and county of San Francisco, five school board commissioners individually, and 50 others identified generically as John Does.

The defendants “caused MS. COLLINS to suffer, in perpetuity, for the rest of her life the following harms, injuries loses and damages: Pain, inconvenience, severe mental distress, severe emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation, harm to self-image, injury to career, spiritual injury to her soul, fear, discomfort, misery, anxiety, and suffering,” the legal complaint asserts.

Colins appears to be seeking $12 million in money damages from each defendant and an additional $3 million from the school board members in punitive damages. She is also requesting a court order to reinstate her as board VP and to her committee assignments.

Last month in the midst of the controversy, Colins claimed that the tweets were taken out of context. She has also insisted she is the target of a smear campaign because of her equity advocacy.

Watch a local news report about the newly filed lawsuit from KRON-TV in San Francisco:

“So much of who I am and how I am in this world has gotten lost due to this targeted smear campaign to label me as a racist to slow the stop of equity that I have engaged in over the years,” Colins said at a rally on Wednesday.

“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,” she added.

Many social media users don’t seem to be giving the lawsuit high marks, however. Here is a sampling of reactions:


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