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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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16.

kay    

OPRAH DON"T BELIEVE IN GOD DIDN"T YOU SEE THE SHOW AND THE AFTER SHOW SHE KNOW LONGER EXCEPT JESUS SCHOOL MAYBE GREAT BUT IF SHE BECOMING ONE OF THOSE TOM CRUISE AND JOHN TROVALTA CULT MEMBERS THE ONLY WAY IS THE FATHER THRU JESUS OPRAH NOT SECRECTS BOOK OR RON HUBBARD OR THE LIGHT THRU THE FATHER SON AND HOLY SPIRIT

2759 days ago
17.

A    

I can't believe how ungreatful some people are...I wish my child had a similar opportunity in the U.S.

2759 days ago
18.

JOANN RYAN    

DO THEY WANT TO LEARN OR HAVE BABIES?OPRAH IS SAVING LIVES, AND THE HAD BETTER REALIZE THAT. THEY COULDNT BE IN BETTER HANDS. WHAT DO THEY WANT, TO GO BACK? WHOEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT STRICK, DOESNT WANT THEM TO SUCCEED. IF THEY OR PARENTS THINK SO, THEN THEY DONT WANT ANYTHING EITHER. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH STRICK. THAT'S WHAT THEY NEED.

2759 days ago
19.

He's Boring now    

Maybe Ipods and Sneakers is what kids all over the world want afterall.

Suspect the no sweets and candy rule was Bob Greens, hope her diet guru is enforcing the same for the Big O.

Something stinks about this whole thing, either from Oprah or the Parents or the Kids---gee, maybe its no different Oprah than the US kids you have shunned.

2759 days ago
20.

TROLL SMASHERS    

IF THESE KIDS IN AFRICA ARE SO POOR AND STARVING AND DYING - WHAT THE HELL DO THEY NEED CELL PHONES FOR?? AND HOW THE HELL DID THEY GET CELL PHONES?? CELL PHONES?? EMAIL?? WHY NOT AN HIV SHOT OR A BAG OF RICE...

JUNK FOOD??? I THOUGHT THEY WERE STRUGGLING TO GET FOOD PERIOD, JUNK FOOD IS A LUXURY

OPRAH WINFREY CAN KISS MY ASS - SHE COULD HAVE OPENED A SCHOOL LIKE THAT HERE, WE ARE THE ONES WHO MADE HER THE BILLIONS IN THE FIRST PLACE

2759 days ago
21.

Ruth    

Well, that's the thanks Oprah gets. Even in Africa people do not appreciate a wonderful gift. She is trying to give them the gift of an education(which I guess was not good enough for our spoiled american children, we don't seem to be able to cram an education down their throats, they are just not interested) You would think these children would appreciate what is given to them, an education and a chance to lift themselves out of their situations. No they are worried about treats,
I pray for Oprah, She has a good heart and wants to help, but people today are just not the same.
r.davis

2759 days ago
22.

gossip fan    

Who thinks it's too strict? American parents? They should show her program about her school to every classroom in America so our ungreatful kids can see what it's like for kids to want to go to school and appreciate what they have! I work at a middle school and would love for those kids to see this!

2759 days ago
23.

Allred Tree    

The HONEYMOON is over and the "it girls" will be escaping just as fast as they can!

2759 days ago
24.

Maddy    

If these girls have cellphones and are computer literate (email), then something is amiss. I applaud what Oprah is trying to do, but I'd have been a lot more impressed had she not named the school after herself.

2759 days ago
25.

savon    

Why don't you take your fat ass over there and live full time with those damn girls Okra? You are a stupid racist bitch. PLEASE take your dumb monkey ass over there forever so these dumb middle aged fat white bitches will get a life of their own. Oh, you and Gail could have a really good time, you know what I mean? Oh yeah, please take Tyra with you too and maybe you and Gail could adopt Star Jones and keep her in your attic.

2759 days ago
26.

c    

Sounds like prison if the girls are too sheltered when they graduate they will be traumitized...how dare the school tell parents what treats to bring to the kids. The irony is that oprahs favorite food is chocolate talk about a hypocrit. SOUNDS LIKE SOMEONE IS A CONTROL FREAK AND IS ISOLATING THOSE KIDS.

2759 days ago
27.

Allred Tree    

Reginnald, you ROCK!!

2759 days ago
28.

amazed    

The cell phones & computers were given to the girls by Oprah (each girl has a laptop of their own as well as a cell phones, plus computers for their comuter class) per her special I saw on TV when she unvelied the new school. If I understood what Oprah had stated on her special, the girls come from families who are poor but are able to support their families ... but I could have misunderstood. Don't get me wrong, I think what Ms O did for these young ladies was wonderful. But what about the boys in the town? Don't they deserve an education too? How about the children here in the US who are struggling just the same? They deserve an decent education too! Just my opinion!

2759 days ago
29.

kay    

ROSA she said the kids here only wanted IPODS and something and not an education in USA I don't no what kids cause very few blacks have that unless there parents are DRs Lawyers etc I was told she do donate to private white schools there are kids where she do her show is in bad shape I GIVE MY PRAYERS TOO KEVIN HE USE TOO PLAY FOR THE PHONIEX SUNS HE PUT HIS MONEY IN TWO SCHOOL AND A TOWN look it up right here in USA WHAT SHE DID IS GOOD MORE RICH BLACK PEOPLE NEED TO DO THE SAME AND SPEND MONEY IN AFRICA AND STOP BUYING 4to7 HOMES and 30 CARS and BIKES IS STUMPY YOU CAN"T LIVE IN BUT ONE AND THEY NOT GOING WITH YOU WHEN YOU DIE SHE BUY A LOT OF THINGS SHE DON"T NEED ITS THIER MONEY DO WHAT THEY WANT I DON"T NEED ANY FROM THEM SHE SPENDING ON RICH PEOPLE IS STUMPIED HAY I CAN"T SPELL NEED TO GO TO THE O SCHOOL

2759 days ago
30.

BeeRight    

I think it is wonderful Oprah built a school for girls in Africa. The school seems to be so extravegant for what the young girls were use to. I'm sure it will be difficult for the children to become accustom to the rules and regulations. Getting homesick is normal for children and adults. If they want the education they will go by the rules. If the rules cannot be lacked then its home they go.
Now they need to do the same for the boys there. But I think as not to overwhelm the students the school should be made more moderate.
Do the girls help with choirs during their off time? I think that should be part of their structure.
Yes, we need the same in America and it would be great if all the millionaires got together and helped supply our schools and give our teachers a raise. Its so sad that some sports team players make so much more than our teachers.
No disrespect to Oprah as she has done so much good with her wealth. But it is a shame that TV host and movie stars make more than our teachers and people that serve us in everday living. That is the American way and I'm sorry to say that that is a disgrace.

2759 days ago
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