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Movie Review: Lean on Me

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Essay title: Movie Review: Lean on Me


Lean On Me is based on a true story of a principal at a New Jersey high school, Eastside High. The Principal, Joe Clark, is hired in 1983 to run one of the worst schools in this state. His mission is to turn this crime, drug, and graffiti infested school around completely in one year’s time. Clark first mission was to bring order and peace to this school and also bring up the learning level of the students so they can pass the state’s minimum basic skills test. One of the first things Joe Clark did to reform this school was expelling 300 minority students who he claimed were “educationally hopeless and overage underachievers, parasites, hoodlums, and drug pushers”. Mr. Clark’s students were faced with many challenges whether it is academic or social. He is challenged with the academic problems that his students are facing. Because the students of Eastside high cannot pass the minimum basic skills test, he turned to his dedicated and intimidated staff to raise his students to victory. His hard-nosed attitude is a lot of his staff to handle but because of their dedication they are the basis for the changes in test scores. In the movie Clark was able to raise the student test scores to a level that protected the school from being taken over by the state.

Lean on Me depiction of an urban high school is “real”. Not only are the situations of drug, violence, and hopefulness plague urban schools, those same issues exist in suburban high schools. Students are often seen acting out with violent behaviors because of pressures that stem from situations they deal with whether at home or at school. When those situations are not addressed, behavioral patterns are developed and acting out or seclusion behaviors began to increase. They have minimal outlets or people to trust.

This movie is an example of why social workers have become an intricate part of the solution

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