The head of the Boston School Committee resigned on Thursday, after appearing to make a comment during Wednesday night's online meeting that mocked the Asian names of people who were testifying.

Michael Loconto acknowledged the comments later in the meeting.

"I had my mic on earlier while I was talking to somebody in the room with me," Loconto said. "And I'm sorry if anyone misinterpreted any of the comments that I made. I was talking about a children's book. I apologize for that.”

Loconto tweeted an apology Thursday morning, saying it was never his intention to mock anyone, but acknowledging the words were hurtful.

"I know what was in my head and in my heart but I make no excuses," he wrote. "I know how my words were heard and how they hurt. I have always tried to lead my life, publicly and privately, by treating people with dignity and respect. To those who I offended, I offer again my sincerest apology and ask for your forgiveness."

In a statement, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he accepted Loconto's resignation when the School Committee chair reached out to him on Thursday.

"While he conveyed to me his personal embarrassment and his desire to seek forgiveness, his comments were hurtful and wrong," Walsh said. "None of us wishes to be defined by a single moment in our lives and no one knows that better than me. Michael is someone who has done important and difficult work for the people of Boston, and especially our children, but we cannot accept the disparagement of members of our community."

The comments came during a marathon meeting in which the Boston School Committee unanimously voted 7-0 to suspend admissions testing this year for its three elite "exam" schools due to the pandemic.

The district will rely on students' pre-COVID GPA or their MCAS scores instead. The new process will also give preference to high-achieving students from low-income zip codes.

The meeting included four hours of impassioned public comment, including from members of the Chinatown community who argued that grouping students by zip code would penalize the pockets of poor students living in wealthy areas.

Loconto's comments were criticized by members of Boston's City Council, including Annissa Essaibi-George, who tweeted, "Mr. Loconto's behavior last night was unacceptable. I'm deeply appalled, personally offended, by his words. I watched & heard it live. It is unconscionable that he would mock & disparage our families. Our school communities & our City deserve more. It's time for his resignation."

GBH News' Meg Woolhouse contributed to this report.