The list of complaints against Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, is already long, and it only seems to be stretching by the day. The controversial rapper has recently kept himself away from the media’s spotlight following weeks of highly-publicized incidents and statements that have drawn criticism and outrage from fans and the public alike.
But last week, the Atlanta-born artist was back to making headlines as his self-founded private school Donda Academy is facing a lawsuit filed by two of its former employees, Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers. The mother-daughter duo claim that their recent termination of contract was an act of retaliation for reporting code violations. The plaintiffs also reported having been subjected to racial discrimination and having their wages unlawfully withheld or improperly paid on multiple occasions as well.
Among the concerns raised by Hailey and Byers, both teachers at the time of their employment, were claims that educators were being paid insufficient wages, that the school lacked a proper disciplinary scheme and health maintenance services, as well as suffered from subpar medical access. What’s more, the mother and daughter also alleged that West himself had implemented a strict policy that forbade all food and drink on campus except for sushi and water. He also forbid “color in the classrooms or artwork hung on the walls,” and even banned chairs, making children “sit on foam cushion or stand, and teachers stand or use a stool.”
Raising serious questions about the California private school’s commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for its own students, this is not the first time that the establishment has found itself under the fire of critics. Despite promoting itself as an innovative approach to education in a “post-iPhone” world, with a focus on spirituality and creativity, the institution lacks official governmental accreditation while coming with a hefty price tag. Rumors also suggest that parents have to sign non-disclosure agreements, only making the newly-opened institution look more suspicious than it already was.
“I’m extremely sad about all of this,” Byers confessed in a statement. “It was such a huge honor and privilege to work at Donda Academy for Kanye West… 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.”
The specific result of the lawsuit is yet to be determined, however, it has been reported that the lawsuit is pursuing more than $1 million in compensation for the two plaintiffs’ lost wages and emotional suffering. There has been no public statement from Ye or any representatives of the academy regarding the lawsuit so far.