Kanye “Ye” West wears many different hats. Although his official job title is rapper, he has expanded his brand into production and fashion design. His clothing brand, Yeezy, has popularized many unique streetwear styles, and his fame only grew through his tumultuous relationship with colleague Kim Kardashian. As if the custody battles and controversy weren’t on his mind enough, Ye has now taken on a new venture: opening a school.
According to the California Department of Education, Donda Academy opened in November 2021. It is designed as a private, tuition-based school that uses a “project-based learning model” and encourages its students to “grow in their faith.”
Although the school is fairly new, it recently made headlines after Ye expressed frustration with his children’s education. In a series of since-deleted Instagram posts, Ye uploaded texts that appear to have been dating Kardashian, the mother of his four children. “You don’t [get a] say where the children go to school. Why are you being asked because you’re half white?” he asked via Us Weekly. Presumably, Ye would prefer the kids to grow up at his academy, but the recently linked information about Donda has some raising questions.
Parents of Donda Academy students claim they signed non-disclosure agreements
In addition to the $15,000 in annual tuition, parents of Donda Academy students have reported being required to sign non-disclosure agreements. Rolling Stone, which reported the parents’ claims, notes that details about the terms of the agreement were not disclosed. A representative from the school, meanwhile, denied allegations of an NDA – claiming instead that parents would have to sign an “informal agreement”.
Malik Yusef, an associate of Kanye “Ye” West, also offered some insight into why there might be secrecy. “People are choosing to take their children to Donda Academy for privacy,” he said. He also emphasized that maintaining an environment of learning and God’s focus is the school’s priority. “I don’t think Kanye needs to tell the world what he’s doing in order for him to be scrutinized.”
Still, some couldn’t help but interpret the secrecy as threatening. “Donda Academy? Private Christian School? NDAs? I hope this isn’t something I’ll be watching on Netflix in a few years…” one Twitter user wrote. The academy’s website has stark black and white images of a flying dove on the homepage. Still, some remain open-minded, tweeting, “tbh donda academy sounds like a pretty good school.”