Michael Goar, interim superintendent of the Minneapolis School District, has withdrawn his name from the district's superintendent search.
Goar sent a letter to school board chair Jenny Arneson Saturday.
"Over the last few weeks, I have watched as our community and school board leaders have become increasingly fragmented and divided," Goar wrote. "I never expected that we would agree on everything, but we must all be unified on why we are here and we must remain focused on children and not on the disagreements and disrespect that continue to divide and distract us. I love this community and want Minneapolis and our children to have the best educational opportunities possible. I do not want the community to continue to be divided or further distracted from this city's most important work, the education of our most precious resource, our children."
Goar was named as one of three finalists for the position in December, and had recently become a frontrunner for the position.
The board decided to cut off contract talks with their first pick, Sergio Paez, after allegations were raised that special needs students suffered physical abuse in his previous district in Holyoke, Mass.
After declining to offer Paez a contract, the board discussed hiring Goar, but protesters interrupted saying Goar has not done enough to help African-American students. Goar told MPR News earlier this week he still wanted to be considered for the job, despite the protests
Goar will remain in place as interim until a new superintendent is named.