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 – 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!
I 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.