"Lean On Me" is a true-story movie based on the case of Principal Joe Clark and East Side High. The African-American true-story movie, which debuted on the big screen in 1989, is written by Michael Schiffer and directed by John G. Avildsen. The cast includes: Robert Guillaume, Beverly Todd and Morgan Freeman as the infamous Joe Clark, according to the New York Times.
"Lean On Me" synopsis/plot
When tough school principal Joe Clark is asked to go to East Side High, an out of control inner-city school, he knew it was a job no one else wanted. With a bullhorn in hand and pad locks on the doors, this high school principal, whom they've named 'Crazy Joe,' will show the administration, teachers and parents what it takes to run a successful school.
"Lean On Me" was inspired by the true story of Joe Clark, a school principal who made headlines in the early 1980's for his 'crazy' discipline tactics at East Side High, a local high school in Patterson, NJ.
Joe Clark pad locked the doors and roamed the hall with a bullhorn to keep the once declining school in line, according to People's Weekly.
The idea for the movie's title most likely came from the 1983 article that appeared in the Philadelphia Times entitled "'LEAN, MEAN' PRINCIPAL GETS CALL FROM REAGAN."
Today, Joe Clark is working as a motivational speaker.