Polk Street School in Franklin Square.

Polk Street School in Franklin Square. Credit: Corey Sipkin

An elementary school principal in Franklin Square who district officials said earlier this month was taking a temporary leave of absence has parents and residents petitioning for his return.

A petition on Change.org has nearly 1,200 signatures asking the district to bring Gilbert Torossian back as principal of Polk Street School, where he has worked for years. They said no reason has been given for his unexpected and sudden absence.

“The way Mr. T is with our children is second to none. … We have been left with a huge void and need him back immediately,” read the petition.

The district declined Thursday to comment on the reasons behind the principal’s absence, saying it was a matter of personnel. Torossian had worked in the district for 13 years, officials confirmed.

Franklin Square Superintendent Jared T. Bloom had communicated with parents in an email, saying that Torossian would be taking a temporary leave of absence as of March 5. No reason was given.

“We appreciate your understanding during this transitional period. Rest assured, our team remains committed to providing a strong and stable learning environment for all our students,” the email read.

Torossian could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The district said an assistant principal from another elementary school in the district will step in as interim principal.

Enza Ruggiero is a parent of four in the district with one child still at Polk Elementary. Ruggiero said Torossian knows all the kids and their parents and makes the school a special place. She attended a board of education meeting Wednesday night with several parents, but said school officials did not provide any more information regarding his absence, she said.

Ruggiero also signed the petition asking to bring Torossian back.

Her child has one more year in the school, which runs from pre-K to sixth grade, and “we don’t want to do it without him,” she said Thursday.

An elementary school principal in Franklin Square who district officials said earlier this month was taking a temporary leave of absence has parents and residents petitioning for his return.

A petition on Change.org has nearly 1,200 signatures asking the district to bring Gilbert Torossian back as principal of Polk Street School, where he has worked for years. They said no reason has been given for his unexpected and sudden absence.

“The way Mr. T is with our children is second to none. … We have been left with a huge void and need him back immediately,” read the petition.

The district declined Thursday to comment on the reasons behind the principal’s absence, saying it was a matter of personnel. Torossian had worked in the district for 13 years, officials confirmed.

Franklin Square Superintendent Jared T. Bloom had communicated with parents in an email, saying that Torossian would be taking a temporary leave of absence as of March 5. No reason was given.

“We appreciate your understanding during this transitional period. Rest assured, our team remains committed to providing a strong and stable learning environment for all our students,” the email read.

Torossian could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The district said an assistant principal from another elementary school in the district will step in as interim principal.

Enza Ruggiero is a parent of four in the district with one child still at Polk Elementary. Ruggiero said Torossian knows all the kids and their parents and makes the school a special place. She attended a board of education meeting Wednesday night with several parents, but said school officials did not provide any more information regarding his absence, she said.

Ruggiero also signed the petition asking to bring Torossian back.

Her child has one more year in the school, which runs from pre-K to sixth grade, and “we don’t want to do it without him,” she said Thursday.

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