Woman arrested in Oprah school abuse case And Oprah Addresses The Situation
I applaud the way that Oprah Winfrey has dealt with the abuse scandal at her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. I think that she stepped up to the plate, responded quickly and appropriately, dealt with what had to be dealt with and then spoke to the media about it.
As a sexual abuse survivor myself I can appreciate how this would strike a very personal cord with Oprah, who is also a sexual abuse survivor. I admired her strong statements about adults needing to respond to the allegations of children. I also think it says a lot about Oprah’s commitment to her school and "her girls" as she calls them that she reportedly is giving each student a cell phone with a number that will reach Oprah should there ever be any further issues of the kind that unfolded at the school recently.
And bravo to those brave young girls for persisting in using their voices until they reached the person in that school that listened and contacted Oprah. I think Oprah’s clearing house is a good idea. It is so unfortunate that those young girls had to experience what they did but the hope is that they will heal and come out the experience stronger for it. The hope is also that Oprah and her charges have learned enough from this to ensure that they have the systems in place to prevent it happening again. It sounds as if they have addressed the situation and implemented the necessary changes to ensure the safety of the girls.
Oprah is a passionate advocate for education. She has done a lot in South Africa. She is providing those students with an education they could not even dream of otherwise. A big part of Oprah’s legacy, beyond her talk show, beyond her magazine, will be the way in which these young girls who will grow into strong, well-educated women will bring incredible change and improvement to the plight of all females in South Africa and to their country over-all.
Below are some news story quotes and video of the story as well as part of Oprah’s comments to the media.
© A.J. Mahari
Woman arrested in Oprah school abuse case
By Michael Georgy Fri Nov 2, 2:52 PM ET
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African police have arrested a former dormitory employee at U.S. television talk show star leadership academy for girls on charges of abuse, including indecent acts.
"A former dormitory employee (27 years old) has been arrested yesterday by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit on several charges of abuse," a statement from police spokesman Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini read.
"Several charges including alleged assault, indecent assault, crimen injuria and soliciting girls under age to perform indecent acts are being investigated against her. At least seven victims have already submitted statements."
Crimen injuria refers in South Africa to the crime of injuring another person’s dignity. This can cover racial abuse and sexual offences against children.
The suspect, who was not identified, is being held by police and is expected to appear before a magistrate on Monday, said the statement.
Winfrey praised police’s swift action after local media reports of abuse allegations at the school surfaced late last month. "I am grateful for their compassion and sensitivity to the girls during this difficult time. It means the world to me," she said in a statement.
Oprah Winfrey, the US daytime television queen, spoke publicly for the first time yesterday about the child sexual abuse scandal at a school she founded in South Africa, calling the episode "one of the most devastating, if not the most devastating experience of my life".
Winfrey, appearing via satellite from her home in Chicago, told a news conference the problem had been "identified and rooted out". She reminded South Africans that she had personal experience of sexual abuse and was committed to eradicating any trace of it at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for poor black girls south of Johannesburg.
She said she first heard about the abuse allegations a month ago and immediately ordered an independent investigation in conjunction with the South African police. Among the investigators was a child-abuse expert from Chicago.
"I was, needless to say, devastated and really shaken to my core when I first heard the news," she said. "I spent about a half-hour going around my house crying." She kept quiet about the affair at the request of the South African police, she said, and only now felt able to speak out because the case has come to court.
She wanted an independent investigation, she said, "because my experience with child predators is that no one ever, ever abuses just one child… "
Source: The Independent Online Edition
Oprah "cleans house" in school abuse case
Mon Nov 5, 1:07 PM
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – U.S. talk show host and media magnate Oprah Winfrey said on Monday she was "cleaning house" at her exclusive all-girl academy in South Africa after a dormitory matron was charged with abusing students.
Describing the charges — including soliciting under-age girls to perform indecent acts — as one of the most devastating experiences in her life, Winfrey said she had not renewed the head mistress’s contract and was taking other tough measures.
"We are removing the dorm parents, and as I have said to the girls, (we are) cleaning house from top to bottom," she said in a video news conference from Chicago.
"It has shaken me to my core," said Winfrey, who has herself told of suffering sexual abuse as a child and offered advice to other victims.
Winfrey, 53, a billionaire philanthropist, praised students who came forward to report the alleged abuse as exhibiting the kind of leadership qualities she hoped to foster in the school.
Winfrey said she cried for half an hour after hearing of the abuse allegations and had done her best to protect the students.
"Knowing what I know now the screening process was inadequate even though I was not directly responsible for recruiting dorm parents," she told a room packed with journalists listening to the video conference.
"No, I don’t think as a school we have failed the girls. I feel there are systems within the school that failed the girls. I don’t feel that it has harmed my personal reputation because I have done nothing wrong."
(Reporting by Muchena Zigomo, writing by Michael Georgy, editing by Matthew Tostevin)
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.