The Daily Telegraph
Kanye school swears parents to secrecy
KANYE WEST has opened a private religious school where parents are required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAS) and children have lessons in a form of freerunning and “enrichment”.
The controversial rapper and designer aims to create a “new genera- tion of leaders” through classes at Donda Academy, named after his late mother, in Simi Valley, California.
The Christian school reportedly opened to 100 pupils aged between five and 18 last month, but with NDAS in place little is known about the school.
Even Simi Valley’s community newspaper noted in a June article that it was unable to reach anyone from the academy for comment.
The syllabus includes visual arts, film studies, singing, basketball and parkour – running, climbing, vaulting, jumping and rolling through an urban landscape.
Less typical courses include fashion, Japanese and restorative justice instruction. A selling point for the school is its choir programme, which looks to be tied into West’s exclusive Sunday Service gatherings. Auditions for the group were held earlier this year.
Those enrolled appear to be the children of the artist’s friends and figures in the entertainment industry.
Brianne Campbell, 28, is listed as the head teacher who also leads the choir, but does not appear to have any academic qualifications, according to Rolling Stone.
West plans to open several more schools across the United States. Annual fees are believed to be set at $15,000 (£13,000) but a statement on its website claims “everyone is welcome to apply regardless of financial situation”.
Malik Yusef, a producer and longtime collaborator of West’s, told Rolling Stone: “This man always wanted to create a school in his mama’s name … Look at what we’re doing with the choir and the fashion in school – I don’t think there’s a venture capitalist or anybody that’s had a vision this clear on what education can look like for you.”
West has complained on Instagram that his four children with Kim Kardashian would not be attending the academy, seemingly suggesting his estranged wife had refused to remove them from their current schools.
Questions have been raised about West’s mental health. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2017 before running for US president in 2020.