Two former teachers at Kanye West’s Donda Academy are suing the school, alleging violations at work in addition to the school’s restrictive and unusual rules for teachers and students.
Among other allegations, the lawsuit alleges that children were only allowed to eat sushi, the school had no cleaning services, and West would not allow teachers or students to wear any jewelry. The teachers also allege that the school did not meet Department of Education requirements or follow state regulations, and the teachers were not required to have basic life support certification or mandatory reporting training.
The suit was filed Thursday by third-grade teacher Cecilia Haley and fifth-grade teacher Chekari Byers, who both worked at Donda Academy from January to March 2023. On March 3, 2023, Haley and Byers were fired from Donda Academy without giving a reason. them, according to the lawsuit, which claims a violation of state labor law. They believe they were expelled in retaliation for complaining to the school administration.
Both teachers say they have complained about health and safety violations, including a lack of disciplinary systems. In the lawsuit, they alleged that their complaint was not taken seriously and that Moira Love, director of the Donda Academy, called two of them “aggressive”.
According to the lawsuit, Hayley and Byers were the only black teachers at the school. “I’m sick of the rhetoric that eligible black women are seen as aggressive,” Hailey said in a press release.
The Donda Academy, as well as West’s attorney, did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.
Byers also claims in the lawsuit that she never received her first paycheck and that her and Hailey’s paychecks often fell short by $1,800 to $2,700 per pay period.
“Kanye West is clearly as bad at running a school as he is at running his personal and professional life, allowing for an unsafe and illegal school environment for students who also discriminate against the plaintiffs on the basis of race,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Ron Zambrano, said in a press release. “These egregious violations at Donda Academy are just another example of West’s extraordinary behavior, and our clients will not stand up for it, no matter how famous his status is. Kanye needs to realize that his genius lies in making music, not in running the school.”
West who legally He changed his name to Ye in 2021 Donda Academy opened for the first time in 2022 He is now the CEO, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer. Donda Academy Not supported A private Christian school for students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
The lawsuit also alleges that there are a number of unusually strict rules in place at the academy. The suit alleges that no crossword puzzles or coloring sheets were allowed. Allegedly, there were no classrooms on the second floor because West had a fear of stairs. Students were not allowed to use forks, and all cups and bowls had to be grey. Allegedly, no color or artwork was allowed in the classrooms, and students were required to wear head-to-toe black clothing designed by Westerns. According to the lawsuit, brands such as Nike and Adidas were banned.
The West also did not allow any chairs in the school, the lawsuit alleges, and children had to sit on foam cushions or stand while teachers had to stand or use a chair. Allegedly, the students had to eat lunch on the floor because there weren’t any tables, and recess was indoors because the students weren’t allowed to go out.
“I’m so sad about all of this,” Byers said in a press release. “It’s been such an honor and privilege to work at Kanye West’s Donda Academy. I’m a huge fan of Kanye. His first album was the first I ever bought. I still enjoy his music, I won’t deny His talent will never be the same, but while his vision of the school looks great on paper, it’s just anarchy and rebellion. It’s like a mental hospital run by patients.”
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