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 – 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.


  • Tom

    Seems to run parallel to what ESD tried to do with the troubled teacher-student relationship: Pretend it’s not there and hope that it goes away.

  • Jim

    Looks like the porn section…

  • MCC

    Denial ain’t just a river in the northern Sudan

  • yvonne

    I actually think is was tame. Granted I don’t have a student at ESD but It could have been a photo of an adult Male and a “young girl” with faces with a ? and it would have sold off the stands immediately… i could barely realize what it was…saying. and not all people know what ESD is.. a fried of mine.. from out of town said what is an ESP Scandal… Yes ESP not ESD.. but if there had been a young girl and a grown male… Pouf…. all gone from the stands.. NOW again I Don’t have a student there but I do know most of the players. This is MY opinion… and you can have yours.

  • Amy

    I’m the last person who wants to defend D Magazine and certainly not Tim Rogers, but good grief Dallas.

    The article that they’re all pissed off about is excellent. The reporting is thorough and thank fuck that they were critical of ESD because they kicked out a child for being abused. Is that the school that you love so much? Really?

    You know, people in the South (myself included) get really pissed off about people thinking that they’re stupid because they talk slow. But when shit like this is making the news, who can blame them?

    On a related note: if you can’t tell your 5 year old that sex is what people do to make babies, they you are a moron.

    And $5 says the grocery store in question was that godawful Tom Thumb at Highland Park Village.

  • Mike Dunlap

    How incredibly embarrassing people like this lady are to Dallas. What a sad, sad place ESD is proving itself to be.

  • Liz Landry

    I think it is pretty telling that she thinks she’s protecting kids by keeping this headline from their delicate eyes instead of being more concerned about marching on the school and demanding some changes by the administrators who caused this entire mess. How about this mom gather other moms to have a conversation with their children about grooming and what are appropriate relationships with adults in power: priests, teachers, friend’s parents. Instead of trying to sweep this under the rug and put on blinders, it would be nice if the entire ESD community represented themselves as the amazing school that they keep saying they are.

  • Dirt Monkey

    Just another busy-body Preston Hollow SAHM that’s grown bored of discovering new ways to entertain herself with her husband’s income. The word “sex”? Come on. As the blog post mentioned, seems she’s really got an ulterior motive here that’s not protecting “the little rascals.”

  • I think it has something to do with unintended consequences. Poor lady doesn’t get it. But then evidently she never got it in the first place.

  • Preston Hollow Resident

    I saw blinders at Tom Thumb on Northwest Highway. Sadly, the magazine is more pronounced because none of the other magazines in the checkout aisle have these. While I respect leaving out an individual’s name who wrote that embarassing e-mail. I can not believe that D Magazine wrote such a well told story and didn’t have the gall to call out the businesses who are treating this cover like Hustler. Stand up for yourself D Magazine!

  • Epifanio

    What a incredible validation of the simple minded, control-freak attitude of so many ESD (and other entitled-feeling) parents. If you don’t like the information, just make it go away. Cover it up. Yes, ESD educates three-year-olds and 16-year-olds and that’s why the cover ups, collusion and bullying by the administration needs to stop, so those kids won’t be victimized by the ESD “system.”

  • D. Bledsoe

    Sounds like her kids are a lawsuit waiting to happen. Put a leash on them and don’t let them push a cart too fast down the isle! People are shopping here. SEX.

  • JB

    You have to admit. If ESD is producing 5 year olds that can read that cover and then want to pick up an issue to read the whole story, then maybe D ought to let this story go. That truly is an amazing school.

  • bigjondaniel

    Bless your heart, you sound like you are from Wasilla!

  • I am Spartacus

    If this ESD mom is intellectually honest (which I question due to the tone of her email), she would also ask that the covers of all Cosmopolitan, People…not to mention the tabloids.

  • I am Spartacus

    …be covered as well.

  • RAB

    I did like the “horrific judgment” part, though. In fact, it should proudly be added to the Frontburner tag line.

  • yeah…um



  • Daniel

    So ESD “soccer moms” are more worried about their kids seeing the word sex than they are about other people’s kids being sexually assaulted. Gotcha.

    I have to say, the mishandling by ESD officials was contemptible, but a similarly callous closing of ranks — if one is to be reasonable — could have happened anywhere.

    The bleatings of the ESD community, however, have been nothing but an unmitigated disgrace.

  • Stump’s Agent

    Soccer moms united ? Really ? That makes me sad….

  • Borborygmus

    A soccer mom really objects
    To DMagazine’s usage of sex
    Alongside the school
    Where leaders misrule
    Against a young victim it rejects.

    Perhaps Lady should look deep within
    Is it possible there exists no chagrin?
    Instead you suppress
    Rights of a free press
    Whose effort was to expose a great sin.

  • elena34

    Very sad woman, with a very tenuous grip on reality.I feel sorry that she and the some of the parents would blame the student and her parents.Even if the verdict did not go in the family’s direction, they would have won the battle and protected future children from abuse.

    I guess that this type of person would prefer the student to be in some sort of prison for being assaulted—like they do to women in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.They are condemned and removed from society.

  • Daniel

    P.S. I really, really can’t wrap my head around the magnitude of these parents’ cluelessness — they just don’t get that they’re significantly compounding the damage to ESD in their boneheaded attempts to defend it. Well, ESD always has been a cozy roost for parvenus — people for whom appearances are everything, but the graciousness that attends true class is a foreign concept. They’re only one step removed from the hillbilly who wins the lottery and then gallivants around in a sequined tux, but they don’t realize it.

  • Chris Williams

    Covering up the cover will probably bring more attention to it.

    Congrats on D Mag’s Hot for Teacher issue! So sexy, they had to “brown bag” it.

  • What if the word meant ‘gender’ and not… sex? Also, this actually makes people want to buy it… well, at least look at it.

  • michael

    No teacher ever slept with a 16 year old in my frat house, is that what she means when she says this isn’t a frat house?

  • john vella

    but she’s ok with the big splash Cosmo headline “100 Sex Techniques You Can Do To Him RIGHT NOW That Will Make Him Lose His Mind!”


  • Bethany Anderson

    Just spitballing here – but what if someone who also lived in that area went to that grocery store (and the others), and demanded to see D back on the stands? Theoretically, there are far more non-ESD families in the area surrounding ESD than there are ESD families. So theoretically, the grocery store in question could have more to lose by being cowardly. IJS.

  • Jane

    The letter writer sounds like one of the women in ‘The Help’.

    “sensationalizing a story about a high school in such a raunchy fashion on their cover.”

    It seems to me like ESD did a pretty stellar job themselves sensationalizing their own school in a raunchy fashion. No help from D Magazine needed.

  • Joy

    “…a high-profile parent whose name you’d probably recognize”…hmm, Skip Hollandsworth?

    Go Skip! He’s certainly no stranger to salacious stories.

  • Avid Reader

    I like Bethany Anderson’s idea. I will be going by the Tom Thumb this afternoon to specifically ask them to uncover D. If they will not uncover D, I will ask them to cover Cosmo, US, People and anything else that is “suggestive” in accordance with above “mom”.

    By the way, I wonder what busy bee mom would have done if the article was actually titled correctly; The ESD Rape Scandal.

  • Brooks L. Powell

    I attended Plano schools following the deadly cocaine epidemic that drew national attention. I am also an SMU Mustang. Suffice it to say, those institutions have seen far more than their share of negative press smeared across magazine covers and front pages in this town and across the country. In both cases, I found the attention embarrassing but motivating. Even as a child (albeit often more aware of the world than many of my classmates), I found myself eager to understand and take action, to my parents’ amazement. In short, kids get it. I’m not advocating open access to smut and salaciousness. But shielding kids from news of something happening at their school is an exercise in revisionist history. Parents: talk with your kids and explain what’s going on. If you don’t like the cover, steer clear. But when they see your skittishness and inevitably ask what’s up, don’t pretend they can’t understand.

  • GMOM

    Does anyone have a copy of the letter that went out to the parents of ESD students yesterday or today?

  • @Joy: No, it was not Skip Hollandsworth.

  • newsreader

    Words don’t fornicate people–
    People fornicate people

  • Craigt

    Sounds like being a mom is just too hard for her. It is too hard to explain the facts of life. it is too hard to discipline or even watch her kids in the grocery store, “He’s seen my young children sneak food into my cart, push the cart too fast down the aisle…”

    Why is it everyone elses job to raise her crotch fruit?

  • Stump’s Agent

    @CraigT – Crotch Fruit – great band name !

  • Circ Guy

    I hope to see a full page house ad in all three People Newspapers this week promoting D’s current issue.

  • mhassett03

    We should not talk about sex. Missionary, and through a hole in the sheet, is the only acceptable way.

  • I think the cover graphics are brilliant! As a graphic designer, I know for sure that it would not attract a child’s eye. They respond to vibrant fun images — not a quietly colored typography image. To a child, it would be visually dull, boring, and terribly grownup. So why pick it up?

    I can only conclude that this women only wants to inflict as much pain as possible, because her viewpoint did not prevail in court.

    I wonder if she had this hissy fit in front of her kids. If so, you can bet that they will be curious about what’s behind the dull boring grownup cover.

  • Eric

    D is in business to sell magazines. Controversy and sex sell more magazines. What I thoroughly enjoy is all these lefties shrieking in defense of such raw capitalism. Of course they claim it is a free speech thing, but still…


  • @Eric: You might be surprised to learn that I agree with you. Several people have accused the grocery stores of censorship. That’s not the case. It’s just business.

  • Avid Reader

    @Tim, It can be both.

  • JB

    @ Patsy
    In defense of the “high-profile parent,” the apple is showing a bit too much skin for my taste.

  • Neal

    If you look at the comments from ESD students and parents at Preston Hollow People over the last few weeks (not to mention the behavior of the school’s administrators and teachers before and during the trial), you will see what an awful, degenerate, cruel and provincial crowd they are. Nothing but a bunch of cold fish, ugly on the inside and out.

    “How an exclusive private school tried to make an ugly problem disappear”

    Tim, you should cut holes in the blinders to show just that part of the cover. Or just print “THE ESD SCANDAL: How an exclusive private school tried to make an ugly problem disappear” on the blinders. Then see how that woman responds.

  • @Neal: In fact, the first blinders covered the word “sex” but left visible “the ESD.” They were sufficient. Had to go back a second time with blinders that covered everything but our logo.

  • Next month in “D”… “The Truth Behind the Ugly Blinders’ Scandal at Tom Thumb”

  • I like they way you refer to a high profile parent as if his children are of more importance than others. It is like name dropping without the name. While you may know a ton of high profile people, I know a ton of high people and they are so much more fun. IJST….I’m just spitballing too.

  • DGirl

    There are women the world over who protest for the right to drive, the right to vote, the right to not be mutilated, sold, raped or killed for the sake of family honor and then you have this insipid wretch protesting the display of this magazine.

    I bet she is the type that hides behind a conservative religion because it gives her permission to be hateful and judgemental. What a stinkin’ loser.

  • Brooks L. Powell

    @Tim: You’re saying you had to install different blinders because “ESD” was still visible?

  • 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”?

    • @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????