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D Magazine Goes Demure on the Newsstands

I have fielded a few questions about this via email, and it has popped up in the comments on the blog, so I figure it’s time to address what’s happening on the newsstand. This month’s cover story chronicles the sexual relationship between a teacher and student at ESD and the school’s misguided attempts to deal with the problem. As you can see for yourself, our cover headline is “The ESD Sex Scandal.” I’ve heard from several ESD parents who appreciated our coverage of a difficult story. One in particular, a high-profile parent whose name you’d probably recognize, told me he hoped the story would help accelerate needed changes at the school โ€“ though he doubted it.

Not every ESD parent, though, felt that way. And at least one woman has made it her mission to get us kicked off as many newsstands (meaning grocery store racks) as she could. Here’s the email she sent around last week:

Dear ESD friends (who love this school, as much as I do):

Are you in agreement with me that D Magazine crossed the line when they put the words ESD and SEX in large bold print on the cover of their magazine? However newsworthy the story is, they should have taken into account the fact that our school is not a University, and this is not a story about a frat house. What horrific judgement on their part — sensationalizing a story about a high school in such a raunchy fashion on their cover! Our community needs reminding that ESD educates three year olds, as well as sixteen year olds. This is a reflection on our little Eagles that wear the letters ESD with pride. Flaunting that cover, that even my five year old can read, at eye level in grocery stores, book stores, and in the mailboxes of subscribers is despicable and unacceptable.

We have been criticized for not protecting our students…Soccer moms unite!! We CAN protect our children, first and foremost, by getting this off the stands of our local grocery stores we frequent. Trust me, they make more money feeding our families than they do from the sells of one magazine.

Yesterday, I took matters into my own hands at the [grocery store redacted] up the street. I asked to see a manager. Of course, he’s seen me in his store a million times. He’s seen my young children sneak food into my cart, push the cart too fast down the aisle, and squeal in delight when given a balloon by the lady in the florist department. That manager completely understood my simple request. I asked him to help me protect these same little rascals, by removing the D Magazine from the stand this month. I backed my request by reminding him that the grocery is a neighborhood establishment frequented by moms, and that such headlines are offensive and inappropriate. He agreed that our children should not be exposed, removed all the magazines while I stood there, and apologized for not doing it sooner. Go, [grocery store name redacted]!

I felt EMPOWERED, so much so, that I went to several other stores and asked the same from each manager. Each complied, without even blinking. Please do the same anywhere you shop. It was so easy, and our reputation depends on it. We do not have to shop at stores willing to degrade our integrity!!!

Shame on D! Think of all the advertising in that magazine paid for by ESD families.

Forward this to any other frustrated moms who want to take action!

–[name redacted]

Blinders2I redacted the woman’s name because I don’t want to pick a fight with her (yet). I’ve redacted the name of the grocery store because without our newsstand partners, this ship doesn’t float. They don’t want their good name dragged into this. Too, I sympathize with them. They make more money selling groceries than they do magazines, and they’re just trying to keep their customers happy (even if at least one of those customers isn’t being entirely honest about why she wants the magazine taken off the newsstand).

In any case, we’ve had trouble at four grocery stores (out of about 100 where we sell magazines), all in the Preston Hollow-ish area. To remain in the racks, we’ve had to install something called “blinders,” which you can see here.

There are two things I find amusing about this turn of events. From what I can gather, the blinders only seem to be drawing attention to the issue. Shoppers apparently wonder what’s so salacious that D Magazine has to cover itself up and then pick up a copy. Early indications are that the blinders haven’t hurt sales.

The second thing I find amusing is that we’ve published a story that is subtitled “How an exclusive private school tried to make an ugly problem disappear” — and a parent from that school is forcing us to use blinders.

  • Zac Crain

    @Brooks: Yep.

  • Brooks L. Powell

    I think if you dig, you’ll find this is a coordinated damage control effort by ESD, not merely a frustrated soccer mom looking out for her “little Eagles” / “rascals.”

  • Lauren

    What I learned from crazypants’ letter: 1. EXCLAMATION POINTS AND ALL CAPS ARE AWESOME AND TOTALLY USEFUL FOR GETTING YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS and 2. There is an actual person who finds nothing wrong with using the phrase “squeal in delight.” See also, “rascals.”

  • towski

    How dare you speak truth to power?

  • Public school educated

    Maybe one of the problems is that it wasn’t a sex scandal, it was a rape scandal, which the school does not want to acknowledge. The real scandal is the school’s attempts at a cover-up. I wonder if they teach the First Amendment in their social studies classes?

  • Neal

    @Zac Crain: When the grocery stores told you to replace the blinders, do you know whether it was because they were still getting pressure from this woman and others regarding the visible “ESD”? Did the stores share that information with you and if so, did they imply they were still under pressure?

    You need to name and shame this witch. She’s already gone public by sending her email out to who knows how many people and encouraging those people to forward it to others.

  • A.D.

    @Public school educated: I’m going to avoid the obvious joke and just point out that there are no First Amendment implications here.

    Once more with feeling: the First Amendment does not apply to non-state actors.

  • thinking person

    Classic case of the self-indulgent holier-than-thou BS witnessed in the park cities every day. God forbid someone expose her precious little country club for kids. Good job D Magazine, reporting like this is why reporting exists at all.

  • TLS

    So last month you got called out for using the f-word and this month it is this EDS/Sex thing. I cannot freaking wait to see what you’ve got going for next month. You better bring it!

  • Heather

    TT at Mockingbird and Abrams is flying the flag free of blinders. Bought one this morning. I understand that parents who are still investing their money to educate their kids at ESD have a vested interest in protecting the school’s reputation. I also understand that this was a very flawed trial and this verdict will most likely not stand up to appeal – meaning everyone who has their knickers in a twist now can count on going through the whole thing again 5 years from now. Let’s hope their kids are out of there by then.

  • Sport

    Wishful thinking Heather…….. dream on.

  • DrRoss

    You people have waaaaaay too much time on your hands. That’s the sad story.

  • Sport

    DrRoss, Evidently, you and the ESD mom do too.

  • Preston Hollow Resident

    Jogging around the neighborhood I’ve recently noticed a huge increase (and way more than year’s past) in the number of yard signs that read: “esd – this is OUR house!”. I get the whole school spirit thing but this goes beyond supporting their crummy football team and is some stupid defiance symbol. Move your signs back from the curb people and quit junkin’ up the neighborhood!

  • Sport

    Obviously, this whole scandal has been as upsetting to the ESD parents, as the day they got the letters turning their “rascals” down at St. Mark’s and Hockaday. They’re making their kids into obsequious sheep by their misplaced anger, and wanting to protect them from the word SEX. All of that combined, makes them perfect prey for priests and other pedophiles. They should be directing their outrage at the board for not firing Swann, Mayo, and Royall.

  • Sport

    Rick Perry needs to use this trial with the all black jury and judge, to prove Texas as a whole, isn’t racist. It’ll help him get out of the hunting lease problem.

  • Gary Fatterson

    Good work, comrade. Let’s cover all of the publications that we don’t like! Meanwhile, Cosmo and other magazines that offer sex tips to make your man happy headlines on the front cover are all over Tom Thumb. Way to go, ESD.

  • ERG

    Why do I believe that that the author of the e-mail is named “Nancy”?

  • Tim Rogers

    @ERG: The email came to me without the sender’s address and only her first name. But a little time spent with an ESD parent directory revealed who she is. It wasn’t someone named Nancy.

  • Sport

    FYI……… Kroger has them on the shelf exposed, so put blindfolds on your rascals if you go!

  • HK

    @Preston Hollow Resident ..seriously.. its “our” school. And “our” headmaster. And “our” perverted teacher. Blech! WTF!! I send three kids to PES and have never ever thought twice about sending mine to this money grubbing tight ass excuse for a school. Fthr Schwann will get his someday. I am a lifelong Episcopalian and embarrassed by this scandal even from afar. Shame on anyone who thinks this was even remotely OK.

  • Reader

    why the character attack? Dont any of you have young kids?

  • momo3

    Don’t be so hard on “redacted”. I had an ESD parent complain to me that she HAD to go out and get her daughter a brand new BMW for her 16th birthday or she would not be able to show her face at school. She was dead serious-reputation is EVERYTHING at ESD.

  • amanda

    @ Reader, yeah. I had a young kid once. I had the first “birds and bees” talk about age 3. One of many to come. The word “sex” is a problem at eye level? Really?

    It’s just really annoying to pay that kind of money for a school that has a history of sexual abuse by faculty members. That’s the problem.

  • yvonne

    @momo3… now here is where the phrase…. GET A LIFE comes in.. and we wonder why our kids do things to get attention… a BMW.. well that’s good incentive to do “things” to get attention. Actually sad and reputation is really “what you think of yourself and not what others think and say about you.”

  • Nameless

    Well just in case D ever comes up w/ D “Adult” at least they have the blinders covered. Hey-O!

  • Friar Tuck

    There was a sex scandal at ESD????