Kanye West’s non-accredited private school Donda Academy abruptly closes

Parents notified school is closed for remainder of the school year ‘at the discretion of our founder’ in email from principal

Kanye West’s non-accredited private school in California will close with immediate effect, it told parents on Wednesday, as controversy continues to boil following the rapper’s antisemitic comments.

Parents were notified that Donda Academy would close for the remainder of the 2022-23 school year.

In an email, the principal, Jason Angell, said the decision came “at the discretion of our founder”, according to Hollywood Unlocked.

It added that it plans to “begin afresh in September of 2023”.

Ye, as the rapper is now known, confirmed the news in a deleted tweet to Jason Lee, CEO of Hollywood Unlocked: “Here’s the clout you’re looking for…My school is being shut down.”

Since it opened in August last year, the $15,000-a-year institution has been largely shrouded in mystery, with the school’s website providing little information on curriculum or faculty.

According to Rolling Stone, it enrolled about 100 students. Those associated with the school were allegedly required to sign non-disclosure agreements.

The school was non-accredited. Classes reportedly included choir and parkour.

The shutdown followed a backlash against Ye after he made several antisemitic comments in recent weeks and promoted clothing with the white supremacist slogan “White Lives Matter” at Paris fashion week.

Several of Ye’s business and fashion associates cut ties with the artist, with Adidas, Balenciaga, Gap and other companies saying they would no longer work with him. Ye had also been locked out of his social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter.

Vogue, which previously showcased Ye’s fashion ventures, also vowed to not feature him again after he insulted a Black Vogue editor who criticized him for making the “White Lives Matter” shirts. Ye later gave the T-shirts to unhoused people in Los Angeles.

Several high school basketball tournaments had already barred Donda Academy from participating. Invitations to the Play-By-Play Classic in Kentucky and the Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts were rescinded, reported the New York Times.

Play-By-Play Classic organizer Jeremy Treatman said he felt “terrible” about disinviting the team, but added: “I just feel like it was a no-brainer and I just don’t want to be associated with his school right now.”


Gloria Oladipo

The GuardianTramp

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