Former Teachers Sue Kanye West’s Donda Academy for Racial Discrimination and Unsafe Conditions
Kanye West’s Donda Academy is under fire as two former teachers, Cecilia Hailey, and Chekarey Byers, sue the school for racial discrimination and wrongful termination. Both teachers are the only black female teachers employed at the school. Additionally, they claim to have witnessed students being fed one sushi meal a day while staff violated several health and safety regulations.
They allege rampant bullying, a lack of security measures, and a school without proper medical staffing, trash cans, or disciplinary procedures. As a result, Kanye is getting sued alongside the school and its directors for damages exceeding USD 1 million.
Moreover, Hailey and Byers were fired in March 2023 and allegedly haven’t been paid wages. They are claiming loss of earnings, other employment benefits, and damages for emotional distress and medical expenses. The lawsuit alleges racial discrimination, wages illegally held, and unlawful termination as retaliation for reporting code violations.
According to court documents obtained by various sources, the school had several bizarre rules and practices in place. Students were only offered sushi for lunch and were not allowed to bring outside food or drink to school except for water. The school allegedly spent USD 10,000 per week on sushi. In addition, Kanye reportedly did not allow students to use forks or utensils and did not allow the artwork to be hung on the walls.
Furthermore, he prohibited children from using chairs and teachers from using anything but a stool, while students had to sit on foam cushions or stand.
The teachers also claim that Kanye did not allow outside brands to be worn, requiring everyone to wear all-black from head to toe and not allowing any jewelry, as he did not like it. In addition, the school doors were physically locked from the outside during the school day, creating a fire hazard. Finally, the teachers say there were no lesson plans or proper disciplinary procedures, resulting in students going undisciplined for multiple instances of bullying and physical assaults against peers and teachers.
The allegations suggest that the school was an unsafe and illegal environment that discriminated against the plaintiffs based on race. The teachers claim that when they tried to run these issues up the flagpole, they were threatened not to contact Kanye. Kanye’s camp has yet to respond to the lawsuit.
Hailey says she’s sad about the situation, considering it a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked at Donda Academy. However, she believes Kanye’s vision for the school may have sounded great on paper, but it’s just pure chaos and mutiny. She compares it to a mental hospital being run by patients. Ultimately, the former teachers aim to hold Kanye and Donda Academy accountable for their actions and discourage such practices.