Two former Donda Academy employees are suing Kanye West, his school and its directors for racial discrimination and wrongful termination.
Teachers Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers claim in legal documents obtained by Page Six that they were discriminated against based on their race, had wages illegally withheld and were terminated in March 2023 in retaliation for reporting code violations.
Hailey and Byers say they were the only black female teachers employed by Donda Academy.
The suit also names school directors Brianne Campbell, Allison Tidwell and Chris Julian.
Hailey says she began noticing numerous health and safety violations as well as unlawful educational practices but claims nothing was ever done when she took her concerns to the school’s principal, Moira Love.
The documents also claim that students were fed only one meal per day, which was sushi, and prohibited from bringing in outside food or anything other than water to drink.
West, 45, himself allegedly spent $10,000 per week on sushi.
Additionally, the teachers allege that the Yeezy fashion designer prohibited “crossword puzzles” and “coloring sheets” and would not allow kids to go outdoors during the day, even for lunch or recess.
Additionally, the doors to the Simi Valley, Calif., school were allegedly locked from the outside, which created a fire hazard.
Donda Academy, which temporarily closed in the fall amid West’s anti-Semitic rants, also did not have proper medical staffing, and children’s medication would be “stored in the janitorial closet,” according to the lawsuit.
In response to Byers’ and Hailey’s complaints, Love called them “aggressive in the presence of others,” the documents allege.
“Plaintiffs believe this type of comment facilitates stereotypes about African-American women as being confrontational simply for doing their job and voicing their legitimate concerns in order to provide a safe environment and proper education for their students,” the suit states.
“No action was taken to remedy plaintiffs’ complaints regarding sanitation, health, safety or education standard pursuant to local and state law, which plaintiffs made throughout the entirety of their employment.”
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Byers and Hailey say they were both fired on March 3, 2023, in the parking lot of the school without “a reason” for their termination.
They are both suing to recoup unpaid wages, loss of earnings and other employment benefits. They also hope to receive damages for emotional distress and medical expenses.
“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 said in a statement.
“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.”
Page Six was unable to reach Ye for a response, as the rapper’s managers and agents dropped him over his anti-Semitic comments last year.
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