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The 10 strangest, most troubling allegations about Ye's Donda Academy

The allegations have been included in two lawsuits from three former teachers and an ex assistant principal.
Ye walks through paparazzi during Paris Fashion Week
Ye during Paris Fashion Week.Edward Berthelot / Getty Images file

Since April, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West has been hit with a barrage of unusual and troubling allegations over two Christian schools he founded in Southern California, Donda Academy and its predecessor, Yeezy Christian Academy.

The allegations, made by three former teachers and an ex-assistant principal, were included in two lawsuits filed in Los Angeles Superior Court — one claiming wrongful termination and discrimination and another alleging breach of contract.

In both cases, the plaintiffs claim they were fired after they raised concerns over alleged conduct and code violations that their lawyer described earlier this week as "absolutely egregious."

Here are some of the strange rules and concerning claims described in the lawsuits.

1) Windows were empty because Ye doesn't like glass

The former assistant principal, Isaiah Meadows, alleged in a lawsuit filed Thursday that Donda Academy's K-12 campus in Simi Valley had no glass in its windows after it opened in August 2021.

Mesh curtains were eventually hung in the building, the lawsuit says, but they did little to keep out the cold.

A skylight at an earlier iteration of the school, Yeezy Christian Academy, was also empty, Meadows claimed, "allowing rain to fall directly inside, where water would soak into the floor, which would lead to a moldy smell for the next few days."

In both cases, Meadows said, the openings were left bare because Ye allegedly said he didn't like glass.

2) Sushi 'every single day'

In a separate lawsuit filed in April, two former teachers said Donda offered a single menu item for lunch: sushi.

The teachers, Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers, said that during their several months working at the academy — Hailey started last November and Byers was hired in January — Ye spent prodigiously on the Japanese cuisine.

“It was widely known that Defendant WEST spends $10,000 a week on sushi,” the suit alleges.

3) No outside food, no utensils, no tables

Students were forbidden from bringing outside food or drinks, according to the suit.

They could only bring water to the school, according to the suit. Forks, utensils and lunch room tables were banned, as were cups and bowls that weren't gray, the former teachers claimed.

4) No class on the second floor because Ye was 'afraid of stairs'

Classes were prohibited on Donda's second floor and students and staff were banned from going upstairs because Ye "was reportedly afraid of stairs," according to the ex-teachers' suit.

5) Chairs were banned, artwork not allowed on walls

No artwork was allowed on classroom walls, according to the suit, and chairs were banned, so students sat on foam cushions or stood while teachers used stools.

6) No books, doors locked from outside, crossword puzzles banned

Parents complained that the classroom of a third former teacher who was later added to Byers’ and Hailey’s suit, Timanii Meeks, had no books or textbooks, according to the suit.

Crossword puzzles and coloring sheets were prohibited, the academy's doors were locked from the outside during the school day and students were not allowed outside, according to the suit.

7) Students and staff required to wear Ye's Yeezy clothes

Teachers and students were required to wear the rapper's Yeezy-brand black clothes, the suit claims, and Nike and Adidas shoes weren't allowed.

8) No 'proper' disciplinary system amid rampant bullying

Hailey and Byers described a school that appeared to do little to address rampant bullying.

In one incident, the child of an instructor who shouldn't have been allowed on campus was assaulted, according to the suit. In another incident, the suit describes a student with multiple accounts of physical and verbal bullying that had gone undisciplined slapping an eighth grade student and trying to assault a teacher.

Byers recommended expulsion, according to the suit, though it isn't clear if the student was expelled. There were several other students with unaddressed bullying issues, the suit says, and there appeared to be no "proper" disciplinary system to deal with the problem.

9) Ye doesn't 'believe' in cleaning products

Donda had no janitorial staff and because Ye didn't "believe" in cleaning products that contained chemicals, teachers were only permitted to clean with acid water and microfiber cloth, according to the suit from the former teachers.

At both schools, the septic tank routinely overflowed, according to Meadows.

10) Wires 'sticking out' and an electrical fire

After the school opened two years ago, it had no power for its first few months and lessons were taught under generator powered-commercial flood lamps, according to Meadows' suit.

A year later, when Meeks started teaching at Donda, she found a building with electrical wires "sticking out," loose baseboards and carpet lifting off the floor, according to the suit.

"Plaintiff MEEKS is informed and believes that the building was not safe for occupants, let alone for children," the suit says. 

At Yeezy Christian Academy, telephone and electrical wiring remained exposed, and an electrical fire once started near a student eating area where wire was laying on the ground, according to Meadows' suit.

Lawyers for the school and Ye have not responded to multiple requests for comment over the lawsuits. In a filing last month, a lawyer for the rapper asked a judge to dismiss the former teachers' suit and dismissed their allegations about the school, saying depictions of Donda Academy as a “dystopian institution designed to satisfy Ye’s idiosyncrasies” were false.

“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,” the filing said.