COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) - A Columbia Heights school board member officially resigned Tuesday after anti-Muslim comments were posted on his Facebook page. The decision comes after weeks of pressure from those within the community.
Wearing a black suit and tie, Grant Nichols was a man dressed for the end -- "I wanted this to be done the right way,” he said.
And the right way was also a bit complicated. At a press conference outside Colombia Heights district headquarters, Nichols took responsibility for his Facebook post but also re-affirmed he didn't write it.
"It's affecting our community and our city and that I don't like to see, so I wanted this turmoil done with,” Nichols said.
By stepping down, Nichols ends a week long debate over the disparaging comments that caused outrage in the Muslim community. Many of his critics are now coming to his aide, accepting his apology and saying they're ready move forward.
"We believe as the community needs now and the school board needs and this district needs for us to come together and heal."
And at his final board meeting Tuesday night, Nichols made his resignation official. But as he walked out the door for the final time, questions followed close behind since he's denying writing the comments.
"I feel until like he shows proof or someone comes up and says they did it, I believe he did it,” 10th grade student Ayan Jama said.
Jama was among those to first walk out in protest of Nichols Facebook post in September, and now she think he's getting let off easy. But Nichols and local Muslim advocates are choosing to focus on the so-called resolution, even if it comes with only a partial explanation.