News24

Baby: Oprah school offers counselling

2011-02-21 09:31

Johannesburg - The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls is providing counselling services to pupils at the school after the body of a newborn baby was found last week.

"We are awaiting the outcome of the police investigation while at the same time respecting and protecting the learner's privacy," Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Communications said in a statement released on behalf of the academy.

"The Academy strives to ensure the health and wellbeing of all our learners and we are providing counselling services accordingly."

The body of the newborn baby was found after a 17-year-old gave birth to it on Wednesday, Gauteng police said last week.

The police did not know how the baby had died.

Concealment of death

"Yes, the girl gave birth to the baby at the school, but we can't confirm what happened to it. A case of concealment of death is being investigated," said Captain Shado Mashobane.

The 17-year-old girl, who was a pupil at the school just outside Johannesburg, was taken to the Midvaal Hospital in Meyerton.

Beeld newspaper on Friday reported that the baby's body was found in a plastic bag filled with bloodied clothes after the girl was taken to hospital.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls was established in South Africa by the US talk show host in January 2007 to offer education opportunities to poor children.

The school was also in the news in October 2007, when a matron at the dormitory was accused of sexually abusing some of the girls.

Comments
  • stargazeraisling - 2011-02-21 10:05

    DISGUSTING !

  • melhoniball - 2011-02-21 10:10

    These girls were hand picked from dirt poor communities and given the world on a silver platter and yet they mess it up.

      daaivark - 2011-02-21 10:17

      We don't know enough to say that. Do we know how long she has been at thge school? No. For all we know, she only started there at the beginning of this year and was pergnant already. I don't know. Nor does anyone else right now. So let's reserve judgement until we actually know a little bit, shall we.

      Jules - 2011-02-21 10:26

      what do you expect? they come from rough backgrounds.

      Dnt8 - 2011-02-21 11:01

      Rough background is not an excuse.....talking to your kid about sexual contact with the opposite sex has no social standing limitations.

      Susannomore - 2011-02-21 12:37

      Perhaps we should not be so hasty. As you say, dirt poor communities, which tends to breed ignorance. Many of these girls are abused and not given the education or resources to be helped. Once again, the health department fails with giving both education and the facilities to allow them to be helped.

      melhoniball - 2011-02-21 16:46

      @daaivark actually she would not have been selected if she only enrolled this year, because they would have seen that she is pregnant. But then they hadn't noticed it even while she was at the school. I bet Oprah is kicking her own ass for openiong this school, nothing but a hornet's nest. @Susannomore, these girls are far from ignorant. Careless is the word that comes to mind.

  • wattalotokak - 2011-02-21 10:11

    welcome to Africa...

  • Dnt8 - 2011-02-21 10:51

    Very dissappionting to see golden opportunities like this squandered. Ja I known many are going to say they come from hardship and poor backgrounds but you dnt have to be rich to teach your kids to keep their pants on or even use protection its free at your local clinic, library. Just sad

      Subzer0 - 2011-02-22 08:43

      If you believe this happens only to "them" you are living in denial. I went to a white school and this used to happen but was covered up quickly cause her mommy or daddy was on the school committee or donated lost a cash or she just stayed away for two weeks to go get a quicky abortion out of town and get back to school. The moral decay in society is awful but in all honesty kids today know more about sex/pregnancy/HIV then i did at their age anyway so they have no excuse not to take responsibility unless they were raped.

  • Monkey123 - 2011-02-21 10:54

    I hope they've screened the councellors and we don't have a repeat of the october 2007 scandal... lol

  • bill - 2011-02-21 11:04

    School is like Oprah - a hollow sham.

  • Bratt - 2011-02-21 11:11

    Oprah must be wondering why she bothered with all the negative stuff that comes out of that school. Which is a shame, because it is truly a great initiative.

  • Dnt8 - 2011-02-21 11:11

    Counsel them about what throwing your baby away??? Teach them not to have SEX... SEX + NO PROTECTION = BABY

  • di - 2011-02-21 11:21

    How about counselling on how "not to fall pregnant" in the first place! A baby has been murdered and all they can think about is everyone else's feelings! OY!

  • Stand Up - 2011-02-21 11:26

    This is sad, but a reality in South Africa and indeed other developing nations. I wish more people would get first hand experience in these matters by getting involved in organisations working in this field. You will soon change from anger and judgement to total sympathy if you realise what these kids went through to make it to school in the first place. Parents are often not there due to HIV Aids and these kids have to fend for themselves often by offering the only thing they have to get themselves through school because they can see the long term value. These kids are not stupid they are just desperate for a break. This is obviously not a rural issue only but extremely common under everyones noses in the cities. Please don't judge but try to plough the advantages you had into these kids' lives. It's our only hope!!

  • Stand Up - 2011-02-21 11:30

    This is sad, but a reality in South Africa and indeed other developing nations. I wish more people would get first hand experience in these matters by getting involved in organisations working in this field. You will soon change from anger and judgement to total sympathy if you realise what these kids went through to make it to school in the first place. Parents are often not there due to HIV Aids and these kids have to fend for themselves often by offering the only thing they have to get themselves through school because they can see the long term value. These kids are not stupid they are just desperate for a break. This is obviously not a rural issue only but extremely common under everyones noses in the cities. Please don't judge but try to plough the advantages you had into these kids' lives. It's our only hope!!

  • Seperetla - 2011-02-21 11:35

    Sex education is everywhere! Kids simply just ignore it!

  • dalenavanjaarsveld - 2011-02-21 11:38

    I think oprah needs to have a one-on-one with those girls to push some encouragement into them. Obviously things aren't as rosy as she'd hoped it would be for them there. Problem is giving them education won't change where they come from, which is seriously needy situations. They need all the help they can get and a luxury school is not necessarily going to sort it out.

  • edmead - 2011-02-21 12:24

    thanks for pulling my letter. are you also getting politically correct!!!!!!!

  • Melly30 - 2011-02-21 13:03

    Why put the baby in a bag... It is a disgrace! ANIMALS

      Olaf - 2011-02-21 13:10

      Agreed. This is murder through and through. Why didn't the girl go for counseling during her pregnancy and when she went into labor go to a clinic?????

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-02-21 13:30

    Its not easy to teach morality, even in the best schools in the country. They don't need counselling, they need lessons on responsibility and the sanctity of human life. What use is an education without these basic values? This is where we are failing all our young people.

  • mtsabedze2003 - 2011-02-21 13:31

    Being a gals school the baby was conceived at off school....thats where we need to address issues also!

  • DebbyLou - 2011-02-21 13:36

    Maybe they should think of us who can't have kids before falling pregnant and messing up their lives. Hell ladies ... think of your future! Get the story straight - first you hear the baby was found on the premises, then you hear she took it with her in a plastic bag to the hospital ... regardless, she should be thinking of her education and not having sex!!!

  • Colline - 2011-02-21 15:46

    ...does oprah know about south africa's common practice of popping out babies and throwing them in the bin? bleeding heart that she is.

  • Realist - 2011-02-21 17:01

    they should offer birth control or even better sterilization!

  • AJ - 2011-02-22 09:56

    I think everyone should be sterilised temporarily until they are 25, whether you are a billionaire or a shack dweller.

  • chantall.boshoff - 2011-11-30 22:31

    Forget about the girl, taking into consideration the poor background these kids have and what terrible things happen to kids! My question is, did no one notice that she was pregnant (at the late stages it is very hard to conceal) and had no one notice while this girl was in labor! A school like this is a place where kids are observed and supervised!

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