Ye only fed students sushi at Donda Academy, had no classes on 2nd floor because he was ‘afraid of stairs,’ suit says

Ye ran his private Christian school with all kinds of peculiar rules, including providing only sushi for lunch and not having classes on the second floor because he was “afraid of stairs,” two former teachers said Thursday.

The teachers made the allegations in a lawsuit Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming they were wrongfully terminated by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, from his now-shuttered Donda Academy in Simi Valley.

In addition to the employment allegations, plaintiffs Cecilia Hailey and Chekarey Byers painted a troubling picture of life inside Donda Academy.

School doors were locked from the outside, lunches were always sushi, no forks or other utensils were allowed, students had to sit on the floor during lunch, no cleaning services or school nurses were employed, and medications on campus either were unsecured or had expired, the plaintiffs said.

All classes were on the first floor because “he was reportedly afraid of stairs,” according to the civil complaint.

“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 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.”

Donda Academy abruptly closed down in October in the fallout from antisemitic remarks made by Ye.

“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,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney Ron Zambrano.

“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.”

Other rules Ye imposed, according to the lawsuit, included no crossword puzzles, no jewelry and no color or artwork on the walls. Lunch and recess were at the same time, held indoors.

Students had to wear all black and dress only in apparel issued or designed by Ye. Nike and Adidas were “forbidden,” the complaint said.

Hailey was hired as a teacher at Donda in 2022 before her daughter, Byers, began teaching there this year.

They were fired last month in retaliation for reporting code violations, according to their lawsuit. The plaintiffs, who are Black, also said they were victims of racial discrimination by West.

Representatives for West could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

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