Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls

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Current status Open
Detainees.gif Capacity 300[1]
Checked October 12, 2010
Open.gif Opened 2007[1]

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls is a boarding school near Henley-on-the-klip in South Africa [2]

The teenagers attending the school is South Africa girls grades 7 through 12.

Besides normal education the school also teach "life skills", which makes it a behavior modification facility.

Program structure

Living conditions

The teenagers live in dorms. Three dorms are for junior girls and three other for senior girls. There are also a gymnasium, a theatre, a wellness center and classrooms in other buildings [3]. They eat in a dining hall.


March 2007 the rules of communication with family and friends were one vist per month and very restricted rules about the use of cellphone and e-mail. If the parents bring any form of food, the teenager are punished by loosing points [4].

In the news

  • In may 2007 two girls did leave the school because they became victim of bullying primarely due to culturel differences [5]. They were not allowed to speak their native language with each other.
  • In Movember 2007 claims of abuse were made in various newspapers. A staff member faced 13 charges of indecent assault, assault and criminal injury committed against at least six students aged 13-15 and a 23-year-old at the school. Among the incidents were teenagers being beaten, thrown into walls, verbally abused and choked [6]. The staff member was arrested and later released on bail [7]
  • In April 2008 the number of teenagers abused by staff members are noted to be 13.
  • In April 2008 a girl was expelled after suffering af mental breakdown [8]. Another report mentions at least three suicide attempts since the school opened [9] [10].
  • July 2008 it was announced that the trial against the now former dormitory matron was about to start [11]. A testimony speak of students being force to watch adult movies [12]
  • October 2008 the former headmistress filed a defamation lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Friday in an attempt to salvage her professional reputation [13].
  • March 2009 news of a second scandal came when it became knowledge that there had been alleged "inappropriate behaviors" toward fellow classmates by seven girls that purportedly included sexual misconduct [14] [15]. In relationship with this incident some of the girls explained that they had been held in solidary confinement [16]. However this was denied by the management [17]
  • October 2010 the trial agaisnt the matron ended with an acquittal [18]

See also

External Links

Info pages

Message boards


  1. 1,0 1,1 Fact sheet (2009), homepage of teh school
  2. The facility on Wikimapia
  3. Photos and map of the school
  4. Oprah’s school is "too strict", Sowetan News
  5. S Africa: Oprah girls quit over Afrikaans, African Crisis, May 8 2007
  6. Oprah ignores harsh realities, The Tartan
  7. Oprah Vows Shake-Up Over Abuse Scandal, WCBSTV.com, november 5 - 2007
  8. Oprah school could end up expelling more, The Star, 12 April 2008
  9. Three suicide attempts among 152 students in one year at Oprah’s school, by justingirl1989, Team Sugar, April 18 2008
  10. Oprah girls quit over Afrikaans, by Gavin Prins, News 24, May 5 2007
  11. Oprah school trial set to begin in South Africa, Yahoo news, July 29 2008
  12. Matron at Oprah's school 'forced pupil to watch pornography', court hears in lesbian sex abuse trial, by Emily Miller, The Daily Mail, June 3, 2009
  13. Fired Oprah Ex-Headmistress Sues for Defamation, by Nicole Weisensee Egan, People Magazine, October 4 2008
  14. Oprah's Girls School Rocked by Second Scandal, by Josh Grossberg, E-oline, March 31 2009
  15. Winfrey's Leadership Academy Rocked By Second Sex Scandal, From WENN.com, Internet Movie Database News, March 31 2009
  16. Girls in Oprah Winfrey Elite School Sex Scandal: We Were Kept in Solitary Confinement, wowOwow, April 7, 2009
  17. Oprah Winfrey - Winfrey Denies Isolating Accused South African Students, Contact Music website, April 7, 2009
  18. Oprah Winfrey school abuse: South African matron freed, BBC, October 11, 2010
    Woman acquitted in Winfrey SAfrica school scandal, Yahoo news, October 11, 2010