MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis School Board rejected its original top pick for the district’s new superintendent Tuesday night. What the board did next led to protesters stopping the meeting.

Later in the evening, the school board voted to put the decision on hold until February. It was an emotionally charged and long meeting that continued well into the late hours of the evening Tuesday.

In a unanimous vote, the board opted not to continue contract negotiations with Dr. Sergio Paez, after concern over allegations of abuse at his previous school district in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Then, when the board decided not to start over in their search and choose from the remaining two candidates — which includes interim superintendent Michael Goar — the crowd overtook the meeting chanting things like “No Goar” and “We believe in our kids.”

When the board could not regain control of the meeting, they called a 30-minute recess. Rebecca Gagnon, Director of the Minneapolis School Board, says the discussion surrounding the superintendent needs to get back on the right track.

“Just like Dr. Paez, it’s not starting on the right foot,” she said. “IT’s unfortunate, but people get frustrated when they’re not heard. I think the board, at the end of the day, has to come together. It’s so important. We don’t want an adult to fail because that causes our students to fail. This is going to be hard to overcome.”

When the school board reconvenes in February, they could still opt to start the candidate search from scratch.

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