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Oprah: My School is Safe, Not Strict

3/12/2007 7:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey is denying allegations that her new school in South Africa, Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy for Girls, is too strict with its students.

A statement from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation says, "Our goal is to protect the health, welfare and well-being of the students at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. As with other boarding schools, we provide a structured, safe and nurturing environment in which the girls can learn and develop."

News24 in South Africa reported yesterday that cell phones and email are not allowed during the week, parental visits need to be approved by the school at least two weeks in advance, and the maximum number of visitors per pupil is four.

Parents are not allowed to bring junk food items for their children, News24 said, but the Foundation told us that food items are discouraged but not prohibited. The Foundation went on to say that the students are allowed to have treats and that family members are encouraged to bring books, journals or educational materials to their girls when they visit.

News24 also reported that a satellite meeting between Oprah and the parents was abruptly canceled last week. The Foundation says no teleconference or in-person meeting with the parents and guardians was scheduled for last week.

129 COMMENTS

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1.

van zyl    

I am south african and apalled by the attitudes of americans, you are ignorant and arrogant,I am delighted by what oprah is doing in s.a. . I am not going to try and defend anyone or anything because you have never been to south africa.

2666 days ago
2.

daisy    

Think thats great........there is no free lunch in this world....they are very lucky children.

2751 days ago
3.

Susan    

Considering where most of these girls lived....their life now is 'gravy'. The strictness and limiting social contacts outside of school is helping them form new lives...and , let's face it, not get knocked up. (^;

2751 days ago
4.

Jen    

Tmz spin it however you like but these girls are very lucky to have made it i her school. After Graduation they are allowed to choose any college in the world & Oprahs paying! PLEASE!

2751 days ago
5.

me    

oprah is stupid and a bit"" lol

2751 days ago
6.

Greg    

Do poor african children have cell phones and email?

2751 days ago
7.

Allred Tree    

I knew she was setting up another "Jonestown" and it looks like she will is being exposed for her true self!!!

2751 days ago
8.

Just Me    


I wouldn't have thought these girls had the money for cellphones?

So are they getting an education? Or are they being turned into Oprah's 'mini me's' ?

2751 days ago
9.

jack sparrow    

Oprah has done a good thing for those girls, and the world knows it.

2751 days ago
10.

Disgusted    

Oprah is a media whore, and she's black.

2751 days ago
11.

Court Reporter    

These girls have the chance of a lifetime-I wish the world would leave them alone to learn and grow in this school.

2751 days ago
12.

mable    

Oprah is a gift from God and a role model for these children and others. I'm 42 years old and this is the first time in history for a school such as this for these young African ladies. As for the rules, keep the rules Oprah you have to protect your school. I am very very proud of you. i know this is truly an act of God. Oprah you are God's vessel. Thank you very much

2751 days ago
13.

lovinmadi    

Oprah is my hero!

2751 days ago
14.

fdodgerfan    

If they dont like the rules, than maybe they should leave. Im sure the rules were made clear to the parents and teens before they were excepted.

2751 days ago
15.

YOUR MAMA    

IT'S SO AMAZING HOW THE VERY PEOPLE THAT HAVE SO MANY NEGATIVE THINGS TO SAY ABOUT WHAT OPRAH IS DOING, HAVEN'T DONE A DARN THING TO HELP SOMEONE THEMSELVES. IF SHE KEPT ALL HER MONIES TO HERSELF, YOU WOULD TALK ABOUT HOW SELFESS SHE IS. OPRAH JUST CAN'T WIN IN THE EYES OF SOME PEOPLE, WHICH IS OK........BECAUSE NO ONE CAN PLEASE EVERYBODY ALL THE TIME. THERE HAS TO BE RULES, AND THESE SOUND PRETTY GOOD TO ME. I'M SURE THERE IS A LONG LIST OF PEOPLE WAITING TO GET IN TO THAT SCHOOL. SO ALL OF YOU THAT DON'T WANT TO BE THERE, LEAVE.

2751 days ago
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