Report: Two Ex-Donda Academy Teachers Sue Kanye West for Wrongful Termination, Alleges Black History Books Were Banned, Students Had No Chairs and Were Only Fed Sushi for Lunch

Kanye West is being sued by two former teachers from his private Christian school Donda Academy for wrongful termination and racial discrimination. The teachers claim that they were let go because they blew the whistle on the school’s alleged sushi lunch menu as well as several code violations.

As multiple outlets are reporting, two Black former teachers are suing the “Amazing” singer and Donda Academy for being terminated after they reported “education, health and safety code violations.” The women also claimed that they were terminated because they are Black.

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Kanye West attends the FGI 36th Annual Night of Stars Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Oct. 24, 2019, in New York City. (Photo: Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers — who were hired earlier in the year as full-time teachers —  claimed they were the only Black teachers working for the school. The duo said they quickly noticed several violations at Donda Academy, including the students only being fed sushi for lunch daily.

The two teachers also claimed the school’s students are not allowed to bring any food or drink from outside the school except for water, and that the “Gold Digger” singer spends $10,000 per week feeding his students chef-prepared sushi for lunch.

Hailey was previously employed as a dean for two colleges and has more than 25 years of experience working in education. She started at Donda Academy as a substitute before becoming a third grade teacher in January. She alleges the school had several “unlawful educational practices,” and she informed the principal, Moira Love, about the issues three times. Byers also began working full-time for Donda Academy around the same time, teaching students in the fifth grade.

The lawsuit states that the school did not follow state regulations for “educational services, additional testing, or individualized learning plans.” Hailey also said that the school’s teachers are not trained in Basic Life Support (BLS) and accused the school of allowing bullying.

The teachers also claimed that the school lacks a nursing staff or trained medical personnel to help ill students and had no janitorial services. Byers and Hailey said that West did want cleaning products with chemicals used at the school so they were forced to clean with acid water and microfiber cloths.

They also claimed that West had strange rules at the school such as students having to wear only black. They also said students were not allowed to wear jewelry, Adidas, or Nike and also not allowed to use utensils, only the school’s bowls and cups that were gray.

They claim that the school did not provide chairs and teachers were given only a stool to work from all day. Meanwhile, the students were forced to sit on foam cushions or stand.

West also allegedly did not allow any colors or artwork in the classrooms. The teachers also claim that students had to sit on cushions in the classroom because chairs weren’t allowed, and teachers had to stand or sit on stools.

Byers and Hailey also claimed that Donda Academy regularly shorted them on their paychecks, up to $2,700 every pay period. The teachers said they were told they were “aggressive” by the school’s principal and fired in March of 2023. They are suing both West and Donda Academy for emotional distress and unpaid wages.

“I’m just tired of the rhetoric being that Black women who are competent are seen as aggressive,” Hailey said in the pair’s statement. 

“I’m extremely sad about all of this. It was such a huge honor and privilege to work at Donda Academy for Kanye West. I’m a huge Kanye fan. His first album was the first I ever purchased,” Byers added.

“I still enjoy his music, and I’ll 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 being run by the patients.”

Ron Zambrano, Byers and Hailey’s attorney, believe West discriminated against the two teachers due to ‘their race.’

“Kanye West is clearly as bad at running a school as he is at managing his own personal and professional life, enabling an unsafe and illegal school environment for students that also discriminated against the plaintiffs based on their race,” Zambrano’s statement said.

“These egregious violations at Donda Academy are just another example of West’s unusual behavior, and our clients just won’t stand for it, no matter his celebrity status. Kanye needs to realize his genius is in creating music, not in school administration.”

Hailey described Donda Academy as a “luxury day care,” claiming that there are only 35-40 kids left at the private school that cost $15,000 a year. As far as the curriculum, she alleges, “Kanye didn’t want anything to do with a lot of black history books.”

After the news of the lawsuit and conditions on social media fans had plenty to say about West and Donda Academy.

One person tweeted, “Y’all ever think maybe some kids can’t eat seafood? Maybe some kids don’t like sushi like a lot of people don’t. I’d be pissed if I paid all that money for my kids to go to your cult school and y’all don’t serve them anything but sushi.

Another who shared a photo of a lunch tray with corn, a pizza square, half a apple, chocolate milk carton and carrots, jokingly wrote, “Give em what they want then..”

However, in his defense, one person said, “If they pressed about the sushi, then either A..make their own lunch, or B place them in another school. They just wanna sue bc its Kanye.”

West had yet to respond to the allegations about his Donda Academy.

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