THE BRONX - Hundreds gathered outside Lehman High School on Friday to protest the dismissal of its principal.

Robert Leder has been the principal of Lehman since 1979. The mass of protesters, which included students, parents and representatives for the teachers? union, held signs and raised their voices to try and save his job. They?re asking for the Department of Education to keep Leder in his post.

Parents say Leder was given an ultimatum - resign by the end of the year or be removed and assigned to desk duty. They say Leder is being blamed for mismanaging finances, but they say it was actually Leder?s subordinates who were responsible, not him.

Nicole Ciervo, a senior at Lehman H.S., helped gather 500 signatures to send to the DOE. Representatives from the teachers? union say there are a lot of teachers at the school who support Leder.

The protest caught the eye of Ruben Diaz, a state assemblyman. Diaz attended the rally, but he said he did so as a former student of Leder?s, not as an assemblyman.

?He made me feel so special ? and he obviously made all these students feel the same way,? Diaz said. ?He?s been a leader to thousands of people in the Bronx community and he needs to stay.?