Donda Academy Former Employees Sue Kanye West

Donda Academy Former Employees Sue Kanye West

Two former workers of Kanye West’s Donda Academy are suing the company for wrongful termination on the grounds that the institution broke several regulations pertaining to health, safety, and education. Plaintiffs Cecilia Hailey and her daughter Chekarey Byers alleged in court records obtained by Rolling Stone that they had been subjected to racial discrimination and had their salaries wrongfully withheld.

The ladies claimed in their lawsuit that they were the only Black female teachers at the private Christian school and that their dismissal from the institution in March 2023 was motivated by their reporting of code violations. According to reports, Hailey and Byers are suing West, Donda Academy, and three of the school’s directors for $1 million in damages.

Several allegations are made against West’s Donda Academy in the wrongful termination complaint, including the fact that pupils were only provided with one lunch of sushi per day, which West allegedly paid $10,000 per week for. The lawsuit stated that “students were not allowed to bring any outside food or anything other than water,” adding that “it was well known that Defendant West spends $10,000 a week on sushi.”

Additionally, according to the lawsuit, Donda Academy “would not allow color in the classrooms or artwork posted on the walls” and “banned crossword puzzles and coloring sheets.” The school, according to the former teachers, was “closed from the outside during the school day,” and pupils were not permitted to walk outdoors for lunch or recess.

The lawsuit further asserts that West forbade students from using chairs or utensils within the school and even forbade classes from being held on the second floor because he was “afraid of stairs”. The lawsuit claims that Cecilia Hailey began working for Donda Academy in November 2022 as a substitute teacher before switching to teaching third grade in January of this year.

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In January, the school hired her daughter Chekarey Byers to teach fifth grade. Hailey, who has worked in education for 25 years, claimed that she quickly discovered “many health and safety issues,” such as “serious bullying” by pupils and “illegal instructional procedures.”

The former instructor further asserted that there were no security measures in place at Donda Academy, no nurse staff or janitorial staff hired on site, and teachers who were not educated in basic life support. Hailey complained to Moira Love, the school principal, about the health and safety infractions, but according to the lawsuit, “no action was taken to fix” the problems.

Love allegedly labeled Hailey and Byers “aggressive” in front of other people in response to their concerns, which the ladies claimed “facilitates preconceptions about African-American women” as being combative. Hailey claims that she was “threatening not to seek out West” when she attempted to talk to him about her problems. The lawsuit claims that Hailey and Byers were “without cause” dismissed from Donda Academy on March 3, 2023.

More than $1 million in damages are now being sought by the plaintiffs. In a statement to Rolling Stone, the attorney for Hailey and Byers, Ron Zambrano, claimed that Kanye West was “clearly as bad at managing a school as he is at managing his own personal and professional life, allowing for an unsafe and illegal school environment for students that also discriminated against the plaintiffs based on their race.

“West’s peculiar behavior is on full display in these heinous violations at Donda Academy, and our clients just won’t tolerate it, regardless of his famous standing. Kanye needs to understand that music production, not running schools, is where his genius lies.

“I’m incredibly sad about all of this,” Byers continued. Working for Kanye West at Donda Academy was such a great honor and privilege. I love Kanye a lot. The first record I ever bought was his debut. I still like his music, and I’ll never doubt his genius, but his plan for the school is basically chaos and mutiny in practice, despite how fantastic it seems on paper.

In 2022, West established the tuition-based, Christian-based preparatory school in Simi Valley, California. The rapper’s history of controversy and antisemitic comments led to the unaccredited K–8 school making its closure announcement in October of the previous year. Yet, four hours after telling parents “there is no school tomorrow,” school officials abruptly reversed course and “reopened Donda Academy with a vengeance.”

The letter, which TMZ was able to receive, stated, “Join us tomorrow morning in worship for the return of Donda Academy.” “With the assistance of our parents and the community, we are back and coming back strong! The world will alter thanks to Donda’s children.

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Not only have Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers left Donda School in recent months, but other staff members have as well. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tamar Andrews, who had a significant position at the school since July 2022, resigned from it on October 11 as a result of West’s antisemitic remarks.

According to the websites for both organizations, Dr. Andrews served as the early childhood education director at American Jewish University and Temple Isaiah in addition to her position at Donda Academy. Following Ye West’s tweet, “Dr. Andrews immediately resigned from Donda Academy,” Temple Isaiah of Los Angeles president Allison Samek stated in a statement to THR, adding that the educational consultant “could no longer support the organization.”


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