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Breaking Down Every Accusation Made Against Kanye West’s Donda Academy

Every Accusation Made Against Kanye West’s Donda
Kanye West. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For Roc Nation

Kanye West has faced multiple lawsuits for his school, Donda Academy.

News broke in April 2023 that plaintiffs Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court. Per the legal docs obtained by Us Weekly, the pair alleged that the school failed to acknowledge their complaints after “multiple health and safety violations, as well as unlawful educational practices.”

The court docs alleged that Principal Moira Love called them “aggressive” after expressing their concerns. Hailey claimed that she intended on addressing her complaints with West directly, but was “threatened not to reach out to him.” Both teachers were fired in March 2023, which they believed was “in retaliation for their complaints about Defendants’ unlawful and unsafe educational practices.”

A third former teacher named Timanii Meeks joined the lawsuit against Donda Academy in June 2023, per NBC News. Meeks alleged that she alerted administrators to exposed electrical wiring, loose baseboards and other safety concerns and was told that the school was “working on the kinks.” The trial is set to begin in April 2025.

An attorney for West denied the claims and asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. “None of it is true and the allegations do a disservice to the Donda Academy’s current staff and students and their parents who will attest to their positive experience,” attorney Gregory Suhr said in court docs obtained by NBC News.

The next month, Isaiah Meadows filed a separate lawsuit against Donda Academy, claiming he was fired in retaliation for voicing his concerns about safety issues.

Former Yeezy and Donda Academy employee Trevor Phillips filed his own lawsuit against West the following year, alleging a hostile workplace and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Per the court docs obtained by Us, Phillips sought $35,000 for what he considered to be whistleblower retaliation, discrimination based on race, a hostile workplace and other causes of action.

Another lawsuit was filed in April 2024 by former Yeezy and Donda Academy employee Benjamin Provo. In court documents obtained by Us, Provo claimed he “suffered severe discrimination, harassment, and retaliation” from West. He further alleged that West required security personnel to prevent paparazzi from gaining access to him “by any means necessary, including acts of violence.”

The rapper launched Donda Academy in 2022. West and ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s four children, North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm, did not attend Donda Academy. Us has reached out for comment to West’s rep about the various lawsuits.

Scroll down for all of the accusations made against West’s Donda Academy:

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Nutrition Guidelines

Hailey and Byers alleged in the April 2023 lawsuit that the school didn’t follow “nutrition guidelines.”

“Throughout the entirety of Plaintiffs’ employment, the only lunch available for students was sushi, every single day,” the lawsuit claimed. “Students were not allowed to bring any outside food or anything other than water. It was widely known that Defendant West spends $10,000 a week on sushi.”

Multiple Health Violations

In the April 2023 lawsuit, the plaintiffs cited multiple health violations, claiming that Donda Academy didn’t have proper janitorial or cleaning staff.

Noting that West “did not believe in cleaning products containing chemicals,” the docs state, “Teachers were only allowed to clean with acid water and microfiber cloths. There were no trash cans outside of the classrooms or the kitchen.”

Hailey and Byers also alleged there were no school nurses on staff. Instead, student medications were left unsupervised and kept in a janitorial closet. “Plaintiff Byers’ student’s EpiPen was stored on top of the microwave,” the documents state. “It was never communicated to Plaintiff Byers that the student had an allergy or needed any medications, and never received any medical documentation.”

Bullying Accusations

Hailey and Byers pointed to several incidents of alleged bullying in the April 2023 lawsuit. “In one incident, a student assaulted an eighth grade student by slapping her, then attempted to assault another teacher. The student had multiple accounts of bullying, both physically and verbally, that had gone without discipline,” the documents claim. “However, there are several students with bullying issues that remain unaddressed. Plaintiff Byers complained that the student who became violent should be expelled from Donda Academy.”

Every Accusation Made Against Kanye West’s Donda
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Lack of ‘Security Precautions’

The April 2023 lawsuit claimed that Donda Academy didn’t have “any security precautions.” Instead, “students were allowed to be picked up from the school campus by strangers, as there were no policies in place otherwise.”

The docs claimed that “parents, children from other schools, and even random strangers could come and go at will without ever having to sign-in or sign-out or notify anyone.”

“Moreover, parents would bring their newborns to the school, and breastfeed and pass around the infant to others, including teachers, all during school hours with no regards to student rights or safety,” the lawsuit stated.

Lack of Educational Guidelines

Hailey and Byers claimed in the April 2023 lawsuit that Donda Academy was “not following state regulations for students in need of educational services, additional testing, or individualized learning plans.”

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West’s Unusual Requests

In the April 2023 lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed that West had unusual guidelines for Donda Academy, including banning crossword puzzles and coloring sheets. Students were also allegedly not allowed to use a fork or utensils, any dishware had to be gray, no colors or artwork could be visible in classrooms and the building was locked from the outside during the school day.

Hailey and Byers claimed that the classes weren’t allowed to take place on the second floor as West was “reportedly afraid of stairs.” He also allegedly required all students and staff to wear all-black clothing that he had issued or designed, and banned all jewelry. Classroom chairs were also allegedly replaced with foam cushions and stools, leaving teachers and students to stand.

Meeks alleged that a few parents complained that there were no books, textbooks “or any sort of educational items that would typically be found in a classroom,” the lawsuit says.

Payment Issues

Hailey and Byers claimed in the April 2023 lawsuit that “throughout the entirety of their employment,” their paychecks were either “untimely or inaccurate.”

Per the lawsuit, “Plaintiff Byers never received her first paycheck. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ paychecks would often be short approximately $1,800.00 to $2.700.00 per pay period. Plaintiffs complaint to Donda Academy about the failure to pay them all wages due during the applicable pay periods.”

Every Accusation Made Against Kanye West’s Donda
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Racial Discrimination

In the April 2023 lawsuit, Hailey and Byers alleged they were labeled “aggressive” after expressing their concerns to Love. “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 legal documents stated.

Phillips’ attorneys alleged similar claims in the 2024 lawsuit, saying, “It was immediately apparent to him, and others, that Kanye treated the Black staff considerably worse than white employees. Even when class was in session, Kanye would scream and berate Black employees, while never even as much raising his tone at the white staff. Often, Kanye targeted Phillips — a Black man — not just with this disparate and harassing behavior, but complete and utter disdain.”

The court docs also alleged that West discussed in front of two children how he only likes to date white women.

Provo echoed Phillips’ claim that West “frequently screamed at and berated Black employees” in his 2024 lawsuit. He also alleged that in April 2023, West began “unjustifiably and unreasonably” demanding that employees shave their heads, including Provo, who wore dreadlocks. Provo claimed that he was fired after he refused to shave his head.

Exposed Electrical Wiring

In Meeks’ June 2023 lawsuit, she claimed that she alerted administrators to exposed electrical writing, loose baseboards and other safety concerns. She was told they were “working on the kinks,” describing the school as a “work in progress,” per NBC News.

Lack of Electricity

Meadows alleged in the July 2023 lawsuit that there was no electricity, leading classroom lessons to be taught using commercial flood lamps, per NBC News. There was also allegedly no glass in the windows, but mesh curtains were eventually added. The school’s septic tank also often overflowed, per the suit.

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Putting in a Jail

Per the 2024 docs, West allegedly told students “he wanted them to shave their heads and that he intended to put a jail at the school — and that they could be locked in cages.” After the comment, Phillips claimed that the staff distracted the students and escorted them from the room.

Antisemitic Comments

In the 2024 lawsuit, Phillips alleged that he witnessed several incidents where West would tout his “discriminatory conspiracy of Jews” during meetings at Donda Academy. Phillips claimed that he felt uncomfortable during a separate December 2022 meeting off of school grounds when West allegedly ranted about Hitler’s greatness.

West’s ‘Temper Tantrum’

In the 2024 lawsuit, Phillips alleged that West threw a “temper tantrum” and threatened to punch him. Phillips claimed that West wasn’t pleased with a garden that Phillips was tending to, and the rapper began screaming in front of his employees to “get the f–k” out of here” and that he was “f–king fired.”

Alleged Violent Security Tactics

Provo claimed in his lawsuit that in or around 2023, security “were required to prevent paparazzi from interacting with Kanye by any means necessary, including acts of violence.” He alleged that security personnel including himself were required to “use physical force to remove paparazzi from the direct vicinity of Kanye,” “snatch cameras from the paparazzi” and “take their sim cards and provide them to Kanye.”

Provo alleged that when he said he didn’t want to comply with the instructions as he could face legal consequences, his manager, John Hicks, “dismissively stated” that they would bail him out of jail. Provo further claimed that the required security tactics put both himself and paparazzi “in harm’s way” at times. Us reached out to West when news of the lawsuit broke.

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