Kanye West’s Donda Academy Reverses Abrupt Closure As Businesses Cut Ties With Rapper: Report
Mere hours after abruptly informing parents that it was shutting down for the remainder of the school year, the private school run by Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, reportedly sent parents another notice reversing its decision.
The Donda Academy, a private Christian school in Simi Valley, California, had initially sent parents an email Wednesday announcing the closure that was said to be “effective immediately,” The Times of London, TMZ, and ESPN reported, citing an email from the school’s principal, Jason Angell.
The closure came as Ye faces escalating fallout over the rap mogul’s antisemitic comments.
Angell said the decision was “at the discretion of our founder,” that there would be no school on Thursday and that classes would resume in September 2023. Representatives with the school did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment Thursday.
Not long after this email was sent, however, another notice went out announcing the school’s “return,” according to a copy of that email obtained by TMZ.
“With the help of our parents and community, we are back and returning with a vengeance!” the notice read.
The school, named after the rapper’s late mother, offers classes from pre-kindergarten to the 12th grade. Students participate in “full school worship,” as well as “core classes” in language arts, math and science, and “enrichment courses” that include visual art, film, choir and parkour, according to the school’s website.
Admission is $15,000 per school year and parents are asked to sign confidentiality agreements. About half of the school’s roughly 100 students are awarded financial assistance or scholarships that are backed by Ye’s personal network, Rolling Stone previously reported, citing a consultant for the school.
The decision to cancel classes came after the school’s boys basketball team was dropped from next year’s national Spalding Hoophall Classic tournament on Tuesday due to Ye’s remarks, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” rapper has continued to see rapid fallout over his unapologetic remarks, with numerous brands and businesses — including Adidas, Gap, TJ Maxx, Balenciaga and talent agency CAA — severing ties with him. Balenciaga makes the school uniforms worn by students at Donda Academy, according to The Times.
Ye was further snubbed by Skechers on Wednesday when he showed up unannounced at the company’s Los Angeles-area headquarters and was given the boot, the company said in a statement.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday personally said he’s “extremely pleased” with the response.
“We’re all concerned by antisemitism all over the world. It’s antisemitism, it’s racist, it’s racism, xenophobia — these are the challenges of the era, but history teaches us, usually it starts with hating Jews, with blaming Jews, with terrible rhetoric that people say,” Herzog told CNN.
Carly Pildis, the director of community engagement with the Anti-Defamation League, cited Ye’s extreme celebrity status for why it’s important to stop antisemitism with him.
“Kanye West has more twitter followers than there [are] Jews in the world,” she posted on Twitter one day before the social media site locked his account. “There are an estimated 14.8 million Jews and he has over 30 million followers. American Jews are experiencing a historic rise in antisemitic incidents. His actions are extremely dangerous and must be called out.”