Former Donda Academy teachers sued Kanye West

Two former teachers at Kanye West’s Donda Academy are suing the school, alleging labor violations in addition to restrictive and unusual school rules for teachers and students.

Among other allegations, the lawsuit claims that children were only allowed to eat sushi, that the school had no janitorial services, and that West did not allow teachers or students to wear jewelry. The teachers also allege that the school did not meet Department of Education requirements or follow state regulations, and that teachers were not required to have Basic Life Support certification or training. mandatory reporting.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by third-grade teacher Cecilia Hailey and fifth-grade teacher Chekarey Byers, who both worked at Donda Academy from January to March 2023. On March 3, 2023, Hailey and Byers were fired from Donda Academy for no reason. to them, according to the lawsuit, which claims a violation of the state labor code. They believe they were fired in retaliation for complaining to the school administration.

Both teachers say they have complained of health and safety violations, including a lack of disciplinary systems. They allege in the lawsuit that their complaints were not taken seriously and that Donda Academy principal Moira Love called two of them “aggressive”.

Hailey and Byers were the only black teachers at the school, according to the lawsuit. “I’m just tired of the rhetoric that competent black women are seen as aggressive,” Hailey said in a press release.

Donda Academy, along with an attorney for West, 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 would often be less than $1,800 to $2,700 per pay period.

“Kanye West is clearly as bad at running a school as he is at running his own personal and professional life, creating an unsafe and illegal school environment for students who also discriminated against plaintiffs because of their race,” the attorney for the courts said. plaintiffs, Ron. Zambrano, said in a press release. “These flagrant violations at Donda Academy are just another example of West’s unusual behavior, and our customers simply won’t tolerate him, regardless of his celebrity status. Kanye must realize that his genius lies in creating music. , not in school administration.

West, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021, opened the Donda Academy in 2022 and is now its CEO, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer. Donda Academy is a not accredited private Christian school for K-12 students.

The lawsuit also alleges a number of strict and unusual rules at the academy. No crossword puzzles or coloring sheets were allowed, according to the lawsuit. There would have been no classes on the second floor because West was afraid of stairs. Students were not allowed to use forks and all cups and bowls had to be grey. No colors or illustrations were allegedly allowed in the classrooms, and students were required to wear head-to-toe black clothing designed by West. Brands like Nike and Adidas were banned, according to the lawsuit.

West also did not allow chairs in the school, according to the lawsuit, and children had to sit on foam cushions or stand while teachers had to stand or use a stool. Students should have eaten their lunch on the floor as there was no table, and recess was indoors as students were not allowed out.

“I am extremely sad about all of this,” Byers said in a press release. “It was a huge honor and privilege to work at Donda Academy for Kanye West. I’m a huge fan of Kanye. His debut album is the first I’ve ever purchased. I always enjoy his music and I will never deny his talent, but while his vision for the school sounds great on paper, it’s just pure chaos and mutiny. It’s like a mental hospital run by patients.


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