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Did Diddy’s Former Charter School Devolve Into A Place Of Dysfunction And Violence?

Insiders from Diddy's Capital Preparatory School in Harlem told The Cut that students there face dysfunction and violence.

Parents, students, and staff of Diddy’s Capital Preparatory School in Harlem are revealing to The Cut the dysfunction and violence students have faced.

Capital Prep severed ties with Diddy in the wake of the sexual assault lawsuits filed against him by four different women in late 2023. With Diddy no longer serving as the school’s unofficial mascot, the curtain has been pulled back on the reported “disaster” students and faculty have been enduring behind the scenes.

Fourteen people have come forward with claims of chaos, violence, and high teacher turnover that often have left students sitting inside the lunch room for hours instead of being taught certain subjects, The Cut reports.

Launched in 2016, Capital Prep serves as a charter school Combs co-founded to provide students in grades six through 12 with “a rigorous college preparatory curriculum” designed to produce “engaged citizens for social justice,” the website states.

However, insiders claim the school experienced a lack of leadership, including seven principals or interim principals in seven years, a shortage of necessary resources like chairs and computers, and clumsy record-keeping which has resulted in incorrect grades, transcripts, schedules, and test data. Fights and schoolwide lockdowns were a regular occurrence, prompting fear and chaos among students and staff.

“It was not a safe building to be in,” one former teacher said. “Kids from other schools would jump our kids at dismissal.”

As for Diddy’s presence at the school, aside from a few photo ops, the hip-hop mogul reportedly was rarely ever present. The Bad Boy founder was expected to attend the school’s senior graduation last June but failed to show up, blaming it on airplane trouble. He accepted his award from a video that appeared to be filmed from his private jet.

“He was supposed to be an inspiration to those children, coming from what you might consider the hood—and he was not,” one parent said.

Parents assumed their children were in the best hands by enrolling them in a school with backing and funding from the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, who pledged $50,000 to Capital Prep, a board consisting of a host from The View, one of Dapper Dan’s daughters, and a popular self-help author and TV personality, plus co-founding from “America’s Most Trusted Educator,” Capital Prep Schools owner Steve Perry.

“I liked what they stood for, collectively coming together, teaching our Black and brown kids, giving them equality in education,” parent Shakemia Harris says.

Elsewhere, parents are refuting the school’s claims of 100% acceptance into four-year colleges. State data shows the school’s graduation rate is around 70 percent and many of the graduating seniors enter college unprepared for the curriculum.

“These are kids who are barely passing. You’re not helping them by sending them to these four-year colleges. They’re not prepared for the work, because CPH doesn’t have a sufficient college program,” a current teacher said.

The school denied the claims made by students, parents, and faculty.

“We accept and are saddened that some scholars and colleagues were not pleased with their experience,” Shenique Coston, director of communications and development for the school’s network, wrote in a statement to The Cut. “However, we affirmatively state that many of the allegations included in your fact-checking list are fabrications.”

Capital Prep is currently enrolling students for the 2024–25 school year.

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