Midway Hollow Neighbors Say They’ll Ignore Protestors

Future Wesley Prep executive director targeted by picketers

Meg Fahrenbrook is known to her Midway Hollow neighbors as a friend — part of a close-knit group on Rochelle Drive that often gets together socially.

But since February, at least a couple of times a month, a new group arrives, unpacks signs, and stands near the home Fahrenbrook shares with her husband, Michael.

They tell her neighbors that Fahrenbrook teaches critical race theory and gender fluidity. Occasionally, a sign branding her a child abuser makes an appearance.

The roughly six to eight picketers are there at the behest of Save Texas Kids, an advocacy group that encourages people to report teachers who they feel are teaching CRT.

Fahrenbrook serves as the assistant head of middle school at Episcopal School of Dallas but has been tapped to succeed Wesley Prep executive director Linda Altick, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

The group has also picketed outside the Wesley Prep at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church.

Save Texas Kids’ website indicated the picketing resulted from parents reporting social media posts Fahrenbrook made. 

A brief audit of Fahrenbrook’s recent Twitter posts by People Newspapers found nothing overtly championing CRT or gender or sexuality studies.

They are very welcome to be on any public thoroughfare and express their opinion, but they’re not constitutionally protected from having an awkward encounter with the neighbors

Sehla Ashai

The group claims Fahrenbrook will end single-gender lockerrooms, separate boys’ and girls’ sports, instruct school counselors to recommend “scarring ‘puberty blocker’ procedures” to children who feel they are misgendered, and force instructors to teach that “America is a racist and evil country.”

Nothing indicates that Fahrenbrook intends to do anything of the like, and it hasn’t happened at ESD. Fahrenbrook didn’t want to comment on the protests.

On a recent evening, protestors arrived around 5:30 p.m. By 6 p.m., after a neighbor parked his truck in front of them, they packed up and left.

Neighbors say they have shifted somewhat from being annoyed to just bemused. At first, they said, they did try to interact with the protestors.

“When (we) approached and asked questions as to what they know about CRT or what Meg believes or teaches, they didn’t have a rebuttal,” Toni, a neighbor, said. “They actually hide behind their signs most of the time.

“We have even heard them ask each other, ‘What is CRT’?” she added.

“I feel like if you are going to protest, know your subject at the very least,” another neighbor, Diana, said. 

“They are very welcome to be on any public thoroughfare and express their opinion, but they’re not constitutionally protected from having an awkward encounter with the neighbors,” said Sehla Ashai, another neighbor.

But nowadays, neighbors said they are taking a different approach.

“All of our neighbors on Rochelle Drive have collectively decided not to give them the attention they so desire,” Toni said. “Since they are mostly an annoyance and only stay for an hour or less each time, we’ll just watch them from our porch while we drink wine.”

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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