South African police are investigating abuse allegations at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, the talk-show host's $40 million school for disadvantaged girls near Johannesburg.
Investigators would not say whether the allegations involve physical or sexual abuse, but said no charges have been filed. The academy's CEO, John Samuel, said in a statement earlier this month that an internal inquiry was launched based on a claim of misconduct involving a dormitory parent.
According to an article in The Cape Argus, a Cape Town newspaper, a student said a dorm parent grabbed her by the throat and threw her against a wall. Girls at the school also said the matron swore and screamed at the girls, assaulted them and fondled at least one of them, the newspaper reported Saturday.
The newspaper said one of the pupils ran away from the school, blaming the alleged abuse.
In an emergency meeting with pupils and parents at the school, Winfrey apologized in connection with the incident. "I've disappointed you. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," she said tearfully, according to numerous South African media reports.
Even though she's not directly responsible, it's good that Oprah is stepping up and getting directly involved. While the crying isn't so great, she's providing a good example of the leadership mentioned in the school's name.
Nice Blog :)
I am not a big Oprah fan. I think she wield far too much influence for what she actually does. I am sorry that her school suffered in this fashion, but in many parts of the world, such abuse is simply taken as normal behavior even among educated people. It's not that they condone it, it's just that they do little to stop it. I would like to think our nation is better, but sometimes I am not so sure. I hope this manages to reach a resolution that doesn't involve court trials, accusations and huge amounts of money changing hands.
I couldn't care less about Oprah myself, but I'm giving her credit for doing what's right in this case.
But your last sentence is dead on.
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