Rockford school board member resigns after altercation with community member

Michael Connor represented subdistrict F and his term was set to expire in 2023.
Still photo from video captured by Nicholas Stange who claims he was assaulted by Michael...
Still photo from video captured by Nicholas Stange who claims he was assaulted by Michael Connor following Tuesday's school board meeting.(Nicholas Stange)
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 4:36 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A Rockford Public Schools board member steps down after an altercation Tuesday night with a local documentarian covering the May 30th Alliance, a group fighting for racial justice in the community.

Michael Connor, in a video posted to social media, appears to approach Nicholas Stange, a Harlem High School teacher, who was recording video of the May 30th Alliance which had just been removed from a District 205 board meeting. The Alliance was there seeking the removal of a school resource officer who it says assaulted a student at Auburn High School in 2021.

In the video, Connor appears to walk up to Stange and accuse him of causing more problems within the community and trying to intimidate school board members. Stange denies the accusation and says he has a right to be at that site.

I was assaulted after tonight’s RPS 205 board meeting by school board member Michael Connor. I was there filming the May 30th Alliance asking for answers in response to the assult that took place at the hands of a school resource officer at Auburn High School last school year.

Posted by We Demand on Tuesday, November 15, 2022

We reached out to Connor and Stange for comment, Stange shares his experience here. Connor has not responded.

In a statement to 23 News, Jude Makulec, the Rockford Public Schools board president, said Connor resigned.

“It is incredibly unfortunate that we have been experiencing incivility by visitors to our recent board meetings,” Makulec wrote. “In Rockford Public Schools, we have high expectations for our students and staff. We expect any guests and volunteers to align their behavior to those same high expectations, and that includes the seven volunteers serving on the Rockford School Board. Upon thoughtful consideration of how his actions after last night’s board meeting might become a distraction to the work of the district, Mr. Connor has tendered his resignation, effective immediately.”

Applications for the open position will be accepted starting Nov. 21. Interviews will take place on Dec. 6, and a new board member will be sworn in on Dec. 13.