Lean on Me (1989) - full transcript

An arrogant and unorthodox teacher returns as principal to the idyllic high school from which he had earlier been fired to find it a den of drug abuse, gang violence, and urban despair. Eventually his successful but unorthodox methods lead to a clash with city officials that threatens to undo all his efforts. Based on a true story.

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Fair eastside by thy side we'll stand

and always praise thy name

and ever lend our hearts and hands

to help increase thy fame

the honor of old eastside high

brings forth our loyalty

so cheer for dear old eastside high

lead on to victory

As the tension mounts
throughout the free world,

the ladies have a surprising
15-0 lead over the boys.

Now next question,
bonus question for 20 points.



What is the origin of our civil rights?

The magna carta.

No, Tom, no.

Ellen, take it.

English common law.

20-point bonus.

Boys lose 10 points for ringing the bell

without knowing the answer.
It's a 10-point loss.

The magna carta was a document
guaranteeing rights,

but the rights of whom?
Stacey.

The aristocracy.

10-point bonus for the girls.

The aristocracy vis-a-vis the king.

The people got their rights
from the common well.



The common well.
Hence... come on, who knows?

Anthony.

Commonwealth?

10-point bonus for the boys.

Good, but, guys, watch out.

Girls have a 45-0 lead.
You're not doing too well.

Next two.
Come on. Quickly.

All right.
Here we go.

Bonus question for 10 points.

Define the word
"imbrue."

Aha. I'll spell it
for you.

L-m-b-r-u-e.
Imbrue.

Mr. Clark, could your class
spare you for a minute?

Surely. Kids,
take your seats. Quickly.

Come on. Quickly.

Take out your pencils.
Write this down.

Imbrue-to taint, to stain.

The cancer of racism

imbrues our national character.

It stains the spirit, taints the soul.

It is a blot, a shameful, greasy spot

on the fabric of our national conscience.

Imbrue-to taint, to stain.

30 words tomorrow.
Test.

What's the matter?

They're holding a meeting

of the union executive board.

Without us?

They didn't tell me, either.

I told you we couldn't trust them.

Keep it down.

Those no-good bastards sell us out-

out of a union we started?

Betray us like a bunch of judases?

They won't crucify me.

No, sir. I got
the hammer and nails.

I won't be anybody's martyr, frank.

I'm sick and tired
of spineless jellyfish.

Save it for the meeting.

Why, man?
I got plenty.

I'm the rockefeller of outrage.

What the hell are you people doing?

We're having a meeting.

You're selling us out.

We cannot have an effective voice.

Our curriculum will be impotent

if we sell out every
time they threaten us.

You want to talk, about this, call me in

we have to stick together.

What we have to do is pay our bills.

You want to carry picket signs.

We just want to work.

We're tired of the agitation,

the posturing of crazy-

how can you talk about posturing

when you're always bent over

kissing posteriors at the school board?

You want to step outside?

If you had any nerve at all,

you'd be fighting on my side.

Mr. Clark, I'm afraid
that's a moot point.

We just found out
that the board of education

will Grant our salary increments

if we agree to accept their condition

that you be transferred to school 6,

and we agreed.

God bless you, man.

Pay your bills.

Joe.

They can go to hell.

Come on, Joe.

This place deserves exactly what it gets.

Welcome to the jungle
we got fun and games

we got everything you want

honey, we know the names

we are the people that can find

whatever you may need

if you've got the money, honey

we got your disease

in the jungle, welcome to the jungle

want to bring you
to your n-n-n-n knees, knees

I want to watch you bleed

welcome to the jungle
we take it day by day

and if you want, you're gonna bleed

but this is the price you pay

In the jungle, welcome to the jungle

it's all right.

It's all right.

It's all right.
It's all right.

What are you doing?

Go back to your class.

Leave me alone!

Welcome to the jungle

it gets worse here every day

learn to live like an animal

in the jungle where we play

you got to remember what you see

you'll take it eventually

you can have anything you want

but you better not take it from me

in the jungle welcome to the jungle

want to bring you
to your n-n-n-n-knees, knees

what's up, Brian?

I'm gonna watch you bleed

when you're high

you never, ever want to come down

so down, so down so down yeah,

yo! Where's
my money?

I said, where's my money?

Where's my money?

Hey, hey, hey.

Stop it, stop it, stop it.

In the jungle, welcome to the jungle

want to bring you
to your n-n-n-n-knees, knees

in the jungle welcome to the jungle

want to bring you to your

it's gonna bring you down

don't make me fight you, man.

Get in the locker.

Come on, man.

You're messing up my books.

I'm gonna- Markus, what are you doing?

Let him out.

He lives in there.
He likes it.

Somebody!

Somebody help!
Somebody help!

Help somebody, please.

Help! Help me!

Let me out!

Somebody help!

Please, let me out!

Let me out, please!
Help!

Somebody let me out!

I can't breathe!

Somebody let me out, please!

Somebody help me, please!

I can't breathe!

Somebody open up the door!

Open the door, please!

Somebody let me out!

I just don't goddamn believe it.

I've got an election coming up,

and you hit me with this now?

The state report came
from Trenton just now.

And we... well, actually,
they ranked the schools.

We were last in the state.

That's a crock.

They can't just take my schools away.

You're quite right.

That's what I thought.

But, well, no, see, now,
actually, they can.

What?

The house passed a bill last week.

75% of high school students

must pass the minimum basic skills test,

or the state takes control
by the end of the school year.

Well, how many passed last year?

About 38%.

38%?

What in god's name are they doing

down there at eastside?

They were your appointees, Don.

Don't try pinning this on me.

You're the superintendent

of schools, remember?

Now, look, I'm not going down the tubes

just because those kids
can't pass some test.

It's a can of worms, Don.

The only person who would take this job

is someone with nothing to lose

then the question becomes
what would we want with him?

I'm sitting here racking my brain-

you're sitting there setting me up.

I know you like a book.

No, wait a minute.

No!

No, no, no, no, no,
not that nut! No!

No way!

He's the only guy I can think of.

Lord help us.

Derrick, Derrick, slow down, now.

I am, Mr. Clark.

Slow down!

Bye, Mr. Clark.

So long, kids.

Hey, Joe.

Am I in trouble?
You gotta bring your lawyer?

Rosenberg.

Joe. Hot
for October.

How's it going over here?

Ok. Same old,
same old.

What brings you down?

We came from the mayor's office.

They need a new principal
at eastside high.

Gotta get those test scores up.

He specifically thought of you.

Sure.

Ok. I thought
of you.

All this time I been stuck down here,

and you ask me now, frank.

I'm not a miracle worker, Joe.

Hello,
Dr. Napier.

Mr. Clark,
the girls

need that room for baking class.

We continue to find gum under the desks.

I'll make an announcement in the morning.

Will that satisfy you?

Mrs. Hamilton, you
know Mr. Rosenberg,

the school board attorney.

Yes. How are you,
Mr. Rosenberg?

Excuse us,
Mrs. Hamilton.

Dr. Napier wants to
inspect our new sandbox.

Our sandbox?
I didn't mean to interrupt.

Good seeing you,
Dr. Napier.

Yes, yes.

Forget about what happened before.

This is a chance to make changes,

stop blowing smoke up each other's butts,

see if we can turn this thing around.

You mean nobody else wants the job?

Nobody I'd want.

You add my name to the list.

You're bullshit.

Don't talk to me about saving those kids.

The mayor wants to save his budget,

and you want to save your ass.

Well, so what.

You want the truth, Joe?

Yeah, frank.
Let's have some truth.

For all your talk

and all your crazy Joe routine,

what have you done?
Nothing!

You're nothing but an insignificant man!

It's like you were never born.

Your life hasn't made any difference.

Neither has mine.

Want to take that to the grave.

We want to welcome
Mr. Clark to eastside.

We've heard so much about you.

In anticipation of your arrival,

Ms. Levias, your other
vice principal, and I

have appointed an executive committee

to oversee certain areas

where we have noted
a need for improvement-

you may sit down,
Mr. O'Malley.

You think you can run this school?

If you could,

then I wouldn't be here, would I?

No one talks in my meetings.

No one!

Take out your pencils and write.

I want the names of every hoodlum,

drug dealer, and miscreant
who's done nothing

but take this place apart

on my desk by noon today.

Reverend slappy.

Yes, sir.

You're now the chief custodian.

You will scour this building clean.

Graffiti goes up, it's off the next day.

Yes, sir.
The very next day.

Detention students can help you.

Let them scrub this place for a while.

And tear down those cages
in the cafeteria.

You treat them like animals,

that's exactly how they'll behave.

This is my new Dean of security,

Mr. William Wright.

He will be my avenging angel

as you teachers reclaim the halls.

This is an institution of learning.

If you can't control it,
how can you teach?

Discipline is not the enemy
of enthusiasm.

Mr. Zirella.

Yes?

Mr. Zirella, you are now
my new head football coach.

Mr. Darnell.

Stand up,
Mr. Darnell.

Mr. Darnell will be
your assistant.

You know why you're being demoted?

Because I'm sick and tired

of our football team getting
pushed all over the field.

Thank you. Sit down.

I want precision.

I want a weight program.

If you don't like it,
Mr. Darnell, quit.

Same goes for the rest of you.

You've tried it your way for years.

Your students can't pass
a minimum basic skills test.

That means they can hardly read!

They've given me less than one year,

one school year to turn
this place around,

to get those test scores up

so the state will not take us over

to perform the task
which you have failed to do-

to educate our children!

Forget about the way it used to be.

It's not a damn democracy.

We're in a state of emergency,

and my word is law!

There's only one boss in this place,

and that's me, the h-n-l-c.

Are there any questions?

Mr. Wright.

The h-n-l-c?

The head nigger in charge.

Everybody, right up here, right here.

Check this out.

When I want your body...

George, Brian, sams,
they want you onstage.

Let's go.

Right now.

Mrs. Santos,
what about us?

What about you?
What about me?

Sit down.

I said sit down.

What do they want us for?

I don't know.
Go.

What do you got to do around here

to get picked for something?

Maria, sit down.

Get down get down some guys are lame

they want my fame I got a girl with juice

her name is deluce, so check it out

look at chita, Holmes.

Let her check me out, man.

Afraid of the girlies?
Flash some cash, boy.

Want some?
I'll give you some.

Buy her some stupid gold.

Step off, man.

You're a joke.

Is this normal?

I'm afraid so.

Is everybody on the list onstage?

Yes, sir.

I gave their names to homeroom teachers.

Ladies with the crabs
let me hear you say yeah!

Who's got the crabs?

Mr. Clark.

Don't you remember me?
Kaneesha.

Kaneesha, how are you, baby?

You know him?

We go way back.

Fifth grade.

Yeah. How are
things going?

Ok.

Just ok?

Listen, you have any problems,
come and see me.

I'm in my office
every morning at 6:00, ok?

Ok. Good to see you.

That was my elementary school principal.

All right, people.
Settle down.

Get down off the seats.

Settle down.

Settle down, boys and girls.
Settle down.

May I have your attention?

Quiet.

Quiet down.
Take your seats.

You people sit down.
Sit down.

Quiet down.

I am your new principal.

My name is Joe Clark.

I want you to be quiet!

I want you to listen!

From here out,

there will be no smoking in this school!

All of you who are smoking,

put out your cigarettes
on the soles of your shoes.

Put the butts in your pockets now!

You, there. You.

Put out your cigarette.

I'm going to ask the people onstage

to open with our school song.

Mr. Roland.

Do you believe
this guy?

Go, go, sing!

Suck my dick!

You sing the song.
You sing it.

All right. That's enough,
Mr. Roland.

That's enough.

I want all of you to take a good look

at these people on the risers behind me.

These people have been here
up to five years

and done absolutely nothing.

These people are
drug dealers and drug users.

They have taken up space.

They have disrupted this school.

They have harassed your teachers,

and they have intimidated you.

Well, times are about to change.

You will not be bothered
in Joe Clark's school.

Yeah!

These people are incorrigible,

and since none of them
could graduate anyway,

you are all expurgated.

You are dismissed.

You are out of here forever.

I wish you well.

Shit.

Mr. Wright.

I don't need your school.

I'm going in the air force, man.

Know what I'm saying?

You know what I'm saying?

I told you, man.

You ain't nobody.

I'm gonna get you, man.

You ain't nobody.

Next time it may be you.

If you do no better than they did,

next time itwillbe you.

They said this school was dead

like the cemetery it's built on,

but we call our eastside teams
ghosts, don't we?

And what are ghosts?

Ghosts are spirits
that rise from the dead.

I want you to be my ghosts.

You are going to lead our resurrection

by defying the expectation

that all of us are doomed to failure.

My motto is simple.

If you do not succeed in life,

I don't want you to blame your parents.

I don't want you to blame the white man.

I want you to blame yourselves.

The responsibility is yours!

In two weeks, we have a practice exam

and the minimum basic
skills test on April 13th.

That's 110 school days from now,

but it's not just about
those test scores.

If you do not have these basic skills,

you will find yourselves locked out,

locked out of that American dream

that you see advertised on TV,

that they tell you is so easy to get.

You are here for one
reason, one reason only-

to learn to work for what you want.

The alternative is to waste your time

and to fall into the trap

of crime, drugs, and death.

Does everyone understand that?

Do all of you understand me?

Then welcome to the new eastside high.

Mr. Clark
don't play.

What happened this morning is an outrage.

My boy's no criminal.

Those children belong in school,

not back out on the street.

You're a fascist, Clark!

Our kids don't deserve this!

Some of them are smart.

They're just discouraged

about their chances out there,

what kind of jobs they got waitin'.

Now what kind of chance do they have?

He insulted the black football coach.

The man's gone crazy.

He's declared war on his own people.

Remember, miss Barrett,

Mr. Clark
was nice enough

to come to this emergency meeting

after a very trying day.

I think we owe him a chance to respond.

They say one bad apple spoils the bunch.

My son
ain't no bad apple!

Well, what about 300?

Rotten to the core.

Now, you're right,
Mrs. Barrett.

This is a war.

It's a war to save 2,700 other students,

most of whom don't have the basic skills

to pass the state exam.

Now, if you want to help us, fine.

Sit down with your kids
and make them study.

Go get your families off welfare.

How dare you talk about welfare!

Give our children some pride.

Let them get their priorities straight.

When Dr. Napier
came to me

offering this job, I saw
the lightning flash.

All right!

I heard the thunder roll!

Give it to 'em!

I felt breakers crashing,
swamping my soul.

We are not in church,
Mr. Clark!

I fell down on my knees...

and I cried, "my god..."

why has thou
forsaken me?"

Tell 'em about it.

And the lord said,
"Joe, you're no damn good."

No, no. I mean this...
more than you realize.

"You're no earthly good at all

"unless you take this opportunity

and do whatever
you have to."

And he didn't say,
"Joe, be polite."

Do whatever you have to

to transform and transmogrify this school

into a special place,

where the hearts and souls
and minds of the young

can rise,

where they can grow tall and blossom

out from under the shadows of the past,

where the minds of the young
are set free.

That's right!

And I gave my word to god.

And that's why
I threw those bastards out.

And that's all I'm going to say.

Mr. Clark, I wanted to
talk to you

about those kids you threw out yesterday.

Well, what about them?

I was one of them,

but you made some kind of mistake.

Mistake?

Yes, sir.

What's your name, son?

Sams.
Thomas sams.

Thomas sams.
You're a freshman?

Yes, sir.

Cutting class and
smoking crack, Mr. Sams.

There's no mistake.

No, sir. It wasn't me, sir.
I swear it wasn't.

It wasn't you?

No.

Do you think I'm stupid, son?

No, sir.

Yes, you do.

You're trying to con a con man.

You're not even learning anything

on the streets, are you?

You come with me.

What are you doing?
What's up here?

Now, let me tell you something.

The trouble with being a teenager

is you don't know nothing.

You think you're smarter
than people who've already been

down the road you're traveling.

You know what I'm saying?

Do you?

Yes, sir.

Did you tell your father
I threw you out of school?

Look at me, damn it!

No, sir.

Why not?
No guts?

Afraid of what he'll say, aren't you?

My father doesn't live
with us anymore, sir.

Is that what you're doing?

Going around feeling sorry for yourself?

Get out of here!
You're wasting my time!

Please let me back, sir.

I have to get back at school.

I can't tell my mama I got kicked out.

Now, why should I let you
back into my school?

Because I'm going to do better, sir.

How?

By doing my work.

What else?

And staying out of trouble.

What have you been thinking
about all this time?

Why should I believe you now?

Because I changed my ways.

I don't believe you, sams.

I don't think you've changed
a thing. Go on, jump!

No. I don't
want to jump.

Yes, you do!
You smoke crack, don't you?

You smoke crack, don't you?

Look at me, boy!
Don't you smoke crack?

Yes, sir.

You know what that does to you?

No, sir.

It kills brain cells, son.
It kills brain cells.

When you're destroying brain cells,

you're killing yourself,
only it's slower!

If you want to kill yourself,

don't fuck around with it!
Do it expeditiously!

Go on, jump!

No. I don't want
to kill myself, sir.

You're sure?

Yes, sir.

I tell you what I'll do.

I'll go back on my own word
just this once

and let you back into my school,

'cause you're still a baby,
and you don't know shit.

But you understand this, boy.

You're not gonna get a moment's rest.

I'm gonna be on your case every minute.

You mess up just once,

and you're out of here.

You understand me?

Do you understand me?

Yes, sir.

Now, go on back downstairs.

All right, people.
Let's settle down in here.

Now, settle down, quiet down.

Let those who are trying to
eat their lunch digest.

Robert, boy, you had lunch
at fourth period. Go on.

If Mr. O'Malley didn't
do anything, Mr. Clark won't.

Louisa, you're looking mighty good today.

Gonna have to tell
these boys to watch out.

You kids having any problems?

Yeah. She is.
Tell him.

Louisa?

Why do I have to take home ec?

I want to take auto shop.

I have brothers and sisters.
My mother works.

I've been cooking for 11 years.

Does it look like I don't cook?

I want you to take this
to Mr. O'Malley.

You know how much auto mechanics make?

$17 an hour.

That girl
right there, man.

Yo, sweetheart. Right here.
I got hunger pains, baby.

You could be my lunch.

Boy, get off this table!
Get your hormones together!

It ain't hormones.

She's fly, man.
She's a fox.

I just saw you with your
arms around clarisse.

You honked off with that skeezer?

No, I never-

check it out.
It was only one time.

Chill out, man!

Richard, for your first job
as class president,

I want to build an atrium.

Track me down tomorrow.
We'll talk about it.

Don't worry about it.

How you doin', brother?
Good to see you.

You, hey!

Yes, Mr. Clark?

What's your name?

Kid ray.
How you doin'?

Nice suit.

Just like you,
Mr. Clark.

Got to look the part.

These kids don't understand that.

Hey!

Sams, put it back!
Put it back!

How many times have I told you, boy?

Put something in your head, not on it.

Pull your pants up!

Show some dignity!
Have some sense!

What's he doing
hanging out with you seniors?

You're providing
a deleterious influence here.

Mr. Clark,
he's my cousin.

We was just goin' over music.

Music?

Come here.

Let me have your attention.
Everyone quiet down!

I want all radios off instantaneously.

All radios off.

I want all of you to look at this...

slovenly, sloppy boy here...

as an example of how not to dress.

Now, if you look like this

when you look in your mirrors
in the morning,

find something else to put on.

Self-respect permeates
every aspect of your lives.

If you don't have it for yourselves,

you're not going to get it from anywhere.

Now, to prove their self-respect,

Mr. Sams and his friends here-
you boys stand up.

I'm going to pound him.

Mr. Sams and his friends

are going to sing our school song.

I want absolute silence.

No one is permitted to move

during the singing of the school song.

All right.
Let's hear it.

Fair eastside by the road-

Mr. Darnell, no one
is permitted to move

during the song!

I was picking up trash.

Report to my office!
Immediately!

Woo!

Quiet!
Quiet in here!

All right. Continue.

So cheer for...?

You boys are on detention, 3 days each.

You will learn this song,

or next time, you'll be suspended.

This goes for everybody!

You will sing the school song
upon demand,

or you will suffer dire consequences!

Mr. Wright, take this
riffraff to my office.

Hit the road, Jack and
don't you come back?

No more, no more, no more, no more

hit the road, Jack

and don't you come back
no more what you say?

O, o glorious is thy name o mighty lord

glorious is thy name-
people, what are you-

can I help you,
Mr. Clark?

Yes, you may.
I want everyone

to be able to sing the
school song on demand

or be suspended.
Can you see to that?

Certainly, Mr. Clark.
From the top-

Mrs. Elliott, may I see
you in the hall, please?

Now?

Yes, now!

Will you see if you can
get these people together?

If you sing like that in New York,

we will not be invited back.

I don't like being ignored.

I'm sorry if you weren't
getting enough attention,

but I'm training a chorus.

You don't think the school
song is important enough

to warrant a little interruption?

It's fine, but we were doing Mozart.

We were in the middle
of a difficult part.

If you'd like us to respect your work,

try to appreciate ours.

Who do you think you're talking to?

A man who seems threatened
when any other adult

does something the children like.

Mrs. Powers, I want it quiet
in here right now!

I'd love to chat,
Mr. Clark,

but I have a concert
next week in New York,

and I'd like to be prepared.

What?

Prepared-you know what that means-

capable, ready, and up to your job.

What concert?

The one at Lincoln center.
We do it every year.

Until now. Your concert
is canceled.

What?
Cancelled!

You know what canceled means, don't you?

Over, finished, terminated!

Why? They've worked
too hard!

For not telling me.

I filed a form in your office!

And for rank insubordination!

You've questioned my
judgment, intelligence!

You're the one who comes
around here to bother me.

You're a despicable man!
I've nothing to say to you.

Let's accommodate that.
You're fired!

You need a psychiatrist!

Get out!
Right now!

Fine! Fired? You'll hear
from my lawyer!

Mr. Clark.

Ms. Levias, these miscreants
don't know the school song.

They've got 3 days' detention.

Mr. Darnell,
into my office.

Fellas, come on up.

What was that all about?

I said no one move
during the school song.

If you can't understand
that, find another job.

I was picking up paper!

You contradicted me
in front of my students!

They'remystudents!

They are my students,
Mr. Darnell!

Just what are you trying to prove?

I'm working my ass off for you.

I took the demotion.
I'm doing my job!

You're just getting your rocks off

by treating me like trash.

No, sir. That's what
you were picking up.

God damn it!

You give me the goddamn respect
you would want yourself,

or I will kick your black ass!

You are suspended, sir, as of right now!

Get out!

My god!

What is going on?

Mr. Darnell is suspended.
Indefinitely.

You don't have the power
to suspend a teacher!

Then I can recommend.
Get me the forms.

Yes, sir.

Please, Mr. Darnell is more
than a football coach.

He teaches english!

Not anymore.

The state practice test
is tomorrow. Why do this now?

Ms. Levias- Mr. Clark?

What do you want?
What?

It could wait.

Mr. Clark,
do you have any idea

of the chaos you have caused around here?

Nobody knows what you're doing!

That's exactly the way I like it!

Never made first period
for one year straight

forget a diploma, it's education I hate

I feel like droppin' my books
and just strafin' it

'cause the way I'm feelin',
I ain't makin' it

I ain't makin' it

school's the place
I don't really want to be in

the day I quit, that's it, I'm leavin'

when people tell me
about gettin' grades up

my reply-"am I gettin' paid
or what?"

Bright in the morning, my alarm awakes me

my mom won't, she's a witch, she hates me

failin' all my classes,
I don't give a damn

success, I ain't makin' it

stay to your right.
Let's get to your classes.

Come on, now.
We got 20 seconds to the bell.

Let's go. Sams, sams,
come here. Where you going?

Lunch.

Try to eat some vegetables
for a change, ok?

Lay off those muffins.

See you later.

Don't bunch up down there, people.

That doesn't concern you.
We'll tell you about it later.

All right, Richard.
It's all yours.

We have two groups to thank-

the black and hispanic alumnl-

for giving us sofas and armchairs.

It makes the school
seem, as Mr. Clark

would say, a home away from home.

Having fun?

I am.

I haven't heard a word
about those test scores.

They'll send them-

send them how?
By pony express?

Am I supposed to wait for them?

Get yourself down to Trenton,

where they're probably on some desk.

Bring them back here
where they can do some good.

But now, ladies and gentlemen,

for the grand finale-

Ms. Levias,
if you would-

our very own passaic river falls.

Good job. You're doing
very well, son.

I'm very proud of you.

Mr. Clark,
come to the cafeteria quick!

Some guy's beating up kid ray!

Hey, stop it!
Stop it!

Come on, old man.
I been waitin' for this.

Come on.
Come on.

Get this disgrace
to his race out of here!

You already threw this disgrace out once.

Then what's he doing back?

Someone must have
let him in from the inside.

I want every door in this school

chained and locked- all of them!
Yes, sir.

Hi, Mr. Clark.

Hi, kids.
How you doin'?

Hi, Mr. Clark.
What's up?

Hi, nathalee.

Kaneesha, what's the matter, doll?

Kaneesha?

Now, I told you if you have any problems,

you come and see me.

Come on, now.

I've known you more than half your life.

What's the matter?
How are your grades?

They're not too good.

Well, why not?
You're a smart girl.

You shouldn't be having any problems.

I don't have no place to live.

Well, where's your mother?

She don't want me no more.

Now, here.
Come with me. Come on.

I'll see what I can do about this.

Ms. Levias, you know
kaneesha Carter here.

You go on in to miss ruiz.

Is he all right?

He'll survive.

Kaneesha here is having
a problem at home.

Pull her file, talk to her,
get back to me.

Come on, kaneesha.

Because it never made a difference

I never paid attention to the sound

of my own despair trick or treat!

There was never no feelin'

never not needing that child

even though I couldn't always be there

and time don't wait on love, now

life don't wait for a
break in the weather

what if I'm left with no love at all?

No love at all?

Who's there?

Mrs. Carter?

Mrs. Carter
doesn't live here.

Mama, it's me.

It's Joan levias from eastside.

I'm here
with Mr. Clark.

'Cause time don't wait on love, now

and life don't send you an invitation

been a long time,
Mrs. Carter.

Please.

Come in.

No love at all

I've been meaning to come by
and talk to you.

Mind if I try and act
civilized for a moment?

Offered you two a seat.

Mrs. Carter, I ran into
kaneesha in the halls.

Was talking about her grades.

She says you don't want
her around anymore.

I don't expect your sympathy,

but I ruined my life.

I know that's my business
to deal with that.

It's been hard enough.

When kaneesha
was in the fifth grade,

you were one of my most active parents.

You were always at school helping out.

We don't mean
to pry, Mrs. Carter,

but kaneesha has a gift.

She has that spark.
We have to look after her.

Why would she think
you wouldn't want her?

I had kaneesha when I was 15.

I didn't want no welfare,

so I quit school, worked,
came home at night,

didn't have no life.

So when she was old enough
to take care of herself,

I ran out and got one.

Is that what you're doing now?

I'm just now getting back
on my feet, you know?

As I get clean...

I see myself for what I am...

and I hate it.

And I don't want her
to see me like this no more.

So when the people from
the foster home came by,

I thought it was the right thing to do.

Why would I want to get rid of her?

I love her... more than myself.

Mrs. Carter...

if we helped you find a job,

a better place to live, would that help?

Because, frankly,

I don't see kaneesha
making it without you.

Do you understand?

Yeah.

Good.

Thanks, Bob.
We'll talk tomorrow.

What was that all about?

Chains on the doors.

Thought you people didn't like chains.

You see this yet?

You know, all of your shit

comes down on my head.

Frank, look.
This is-

no. You let me talk.

It's like you're a big bird with radar.

I'm tired of getting hit.

Is this my fault?

This is nothing!

I've got union lawyers threatening me.

There's talk of a walkout.

Let 'em!

They're not teaching anything anyway!

Then do something about it!

Not one of 'em has a personal stake

in that school!
Not one!

The fire chief says
it's illegal to bar doors.

Mrs. Barrett is organizing
a parents group to remove you

since you suggested that
they get off welfare

because quite a few of them need it.

I wasn't talking to all of them, frank.

Look, you came and recruited me, man.

You disappoint me.

The disappointment here is you!

Me?

Yes!

You've known me 30 years.

You know how I operate.

Nigger, can you keep quiet?

The fact is you're screwing up!

You're alienating everybody!

You have no life.
Your wife left you.

I ought to walk out myself!

Go ahead, bail out!

I said I'd back you up!

That's what yousaid, frank!

Brother, I'll go
through the fire with you,

but you are not taking care of business.

But this shit you're pulling now,

you've just gone plain loco!

You suspend Darnell!
What the hell was that?

Darnell is symptomatic of disciplinary-

he is a good, strong,
young black teacher!

He dumped that desk on top of your head.

Good for him.
You will reinstate that man!

You fire
Mrs. Elliott. Why?

She didn't want to kiss your ass.

I wouldn't either!

Mrs. Elliott
has an ego problem.

Well, you lost the best teacher we had!

I don't have time for
Mrs. Elliott's problem!

You better make time!

We're being crucified by a process

that's turning blacks

into a permanent underclass here!

See? Nobody wants
to talk about that!

Mrs. Elliott's missionary
zeal about Mozart

has nothing to do with our problem!

What good will Mozart do

children who can't go out and get a job?

Joe, your personal battles

are going to cost us the war.

Worry about the test scores.

What the hell you think
I'm worried about?

End of discussion!
Debate is over!

You will write a formal apology

for your treatment
of Mrs. Elliott and Darnell

and for your thoughtless insult
to the women of this community!

You will kowtow and step and fetch.

Get used to it!
It's the way of the world!

If you're so hot on discipline,

then start by accepting mine

because contrary to popular opinion,

I am the head nigger in charge!

Come on. Let's get
something to eat.

Boy... you really think
you bad, don't you?

You're all in violation of the fire code!

You cannot prevent me from going in.

You're not getting in, and that's that.

You have no right to lock these doors.

This isn't a plant.
This is my school.

If you want to get in here,

apply for a pass like everyone else.

What the hell is the bat for?

They used to call me crazy Joe.

Now they can call me Batman.

I got thugs and drug dealers
trying to get into my school.

You might be one.
I don't know.

Are you crazy?

I got all day, chief.

How much time do you have?

I'll be back, Clark.

Thanks, Mr. Darnell.
Good to have you back.

You shouldn't have fired me
in the first place.

You're right, but don't get used to it.

Mr. Clark, why did you
lock the school?

Aren't you concerned
about students' safety?

Get these people back to their classes.

Honey, get back to your class.

You're playing into his hands.

That was the fire chief.

Know what he's saying right now?

"Black bastard can't throw me out,"

know where he's saying it?
Out in the parking lot.

Mr. Clark,
a baseball bat?

If they'd got me those emergency doors

that sound an alarm when you open them up

like the ones white schools have,

I wouldn't have to chain them.

Those doors cost a fortune.

We don't have enough money for books.

Tell the mayor that.
Call the federal government.

Never mind what I'm doing.

Why don't you do what I ask you?

Where are those test scores I asked for?

Hey, Mr. Clark.

Hi. Where you been?

I was sick.

Sick?
Hi, Eric.

What was that altercation about?

Alteration?
Are my pants too tight?

The fight you had in the cafeteria.

Don't get cute with me.

I've already had enough shit from this.

Why did he come after you?
You dealing drugs?

We don't need to get into this.

I just came here to tell you something.

I don't think I'm cut out for school.

I just came to say good-bye.

Dropping out on me?

I'm not dropping out.
I'm moving on.

You'll be dead in a year, son.

You hear what I'm saying?

You'll be dead in a year.

Mr. Clark,
I got to go.

You know, baby, I look at you,

and I want to do the hootchie cootchie.

Hootchie cootchie, that's what I'm doing.

You know, sometime, baby.

Come on, fellas, not again.

Sams, freeze.

Where are you running off to?

Why aren't you carrying a book?

I got lunch then gym-

why did I let you back in here?

To get an education.

How you gonna get an
education if you don't read?

I read.

When do you get your report card?

Next week. Miss James
says I'm getting a "b."

I knew you were smart.

I knew it, too.
See you later. Nice tie.

Sams, get back here.

Let's see what's in here.

You don't want to go
in there. It stinks.

My, my, my.

Aren't you my little songbirds

from the cafeteria?

Weren't they with you?

Who, these guys?

I'm sure you've learned
the school song by now.

You better know it because this time

if you don't get it right,

you're suspended for 10 days each.

Is that clear?

Yes, sir.

All right, let me hear it.

All right, fellas, let him hear it.

Fair eastside

fair eastsl-l-ide

fair eastside by thy side we'll stand

and always praise thy name

praise thy name, praise thy name

to heaven, yeah lend our hearts and hands

to help increase thy fame lord

the honor, yeah of old eastside high

calls forth our loyalty loyalty, loyalty

so cheer- all right, all right!

Who taught you that?

Answer me!

I know you didn't do it yourselves.

Sams!

What?

Who taught you this song?

Speak up!

Mrs. Powers.

Mrs. Powers?

Come with me, all of you.

Out this world gonna shoulder up my cross

gonna take it home to my Jesus

ain't that good news?

I got a savior in that kingdom

ain't that good news?

I got a savior in that kingdom

ain't that good news?

No, no, no, people.

You must remember,

we need intonation,
phonation, accuracy, and pitch.

Now, this is your note.

Mrs. Powers.

Yes, sir.

These hoodlums told me something.

Did you change the school song?

Mrs. Powers- let her answer!

The children thought the song was boring.

Boring?

I have never heard a
school song like that.

I didn't authorize you
to change it, did I?

No, you didn't.

I want everyone to learn that song

in english and Spanish.
Immediately.

Take a bow,
Mrs. Powers.

You've rewritten our Alma mater.

The honor of old eastside high

brings forth our loyalty loyalty, loyalty

so cheer for dear old eastside...

how's it going?

What you got in there, Malachi?

My future.

All right.

Aboard eastside all aboard, all aboard

yes, eastside all aboard, all aboard

how's it going,
Mr. Darnell?

Good, good.
That's great.

High ge-e-et fellas?

On That train train train Ms. Levias...

hi, Mr. Clark.

I just heard something
you wouldn't believe.

Mr. Clark,

Mr. O'Malley just brought
this from Trenton.

The school's practice test.

I had to wait all this time for this?

Next time I order you
to go get something,

you better damn well go get it yourself!

No.
My god.

Give me your attention, everyone.

First three rows take 4 steps forward.

Right now! Come on!

1, 2, 3, 4.

Ok, that's good.
Turn around.

Hold it,
Mr. O'Malley!

What's your excuse?

I was filling out a big stack of forms.

I didn't know what time it was.

This is a prime example

of the kind of inefficiency and apathy

that is destroying this school.

Mr. O'Malley, I can't
believe you're that bad.

I'll give you a chance
to revitalize your image.

Set up a student-peer tutoring program.

Maybe the students can help themselves.

Lord knows, you teachers
aren't doing the job.

Ms. Levias, I want
remedial reading on Saturdays.

Volunteers will get regular pay.

We can't afford overtime.

Mr. Clark, the problem
isn't our pay.

What is the problem as you see it?

How to get the students in on Saturday.

You hear that, people?

How do we get the students
in on Saturdays

for remedial reading?

I'll tell you how.

We'll go to their homes.

We'll talk to their folks.

If their folks can't read,

they can come in, too.

The only way we'll get anything done

is to get everyone involved.

And that goes for all of you!

It's time to get involved.

Everyone in this section,

put both your hands above your heads.

Raise your hands!

Put them up!

You people represent
the 70% of our students

who just failed the practice exam.

70%!

But that is not their failure.

I don't blame them.

The failure is yours.

That's right, yours.

How many hours do you spend
preparing your lesson plans?

How often do you stay after school

to give those children-

the ones you know need it-

the extra help that they require?

Keep your hands up.

Now you're getting a hint
of the hopelessness and shame

that makes those failing students

throw up their hands

at the thought of facing a world

for which you have not prepared them.

You're getting an inkling
of the despair they feel

when left to the mercy of the streets.

Keep your hands up high.

Look around at yourselves.

Turn and look at yourselves!

Because you are failing to educate them,

this is the posture
our students will wind up in,

only they'll be staring
down the barrel of a gun!

Yeah, yeah

if a man is born in luxury

it proves to me through history

he is somebody if a man
is born in poverty

privation and misery he is nobody

everybody is somebody nobody is nobody

I mean, apart from all the wealthy

everybody is somebody yeah

so look at me here, man?

Yeah

poverty is what, what it takes

it makes such dangerous
mistakes about who

who is somebody when a woman has a child

before that child is born

she, she is somebody
everybody is somebody

nobody is nobody

I mean, apart from all the wealthy

doo doo doo doo doo everybody is somebody

yeah, yeah

everybody is somebody

all right, you guys, forget it.

All right, I got one.

Who's this?

People, move to the right of the halls.

Move expeditiously.

Francesca, come over here.

How are you?

Fine, Mr. Clark.

How's your sister?

She broke her leg.

That's good.

You have any problem, come to my office.

Here's the key.

That ain't the key.

Sams, sams.
Where's sams?

Anybody see sams?

Pull your pants up, son.

Clarence, come here.

Get your hormones under control, boy.

Let me feel your butt.

Clarence.

What do you think you're doing?

I was just... I was just...

Francesca, come here.

What is he doing?
Can he do me?

Does he have the juice?

No way, Mr. Clark.

Clarence, report to my office.

Mr. Clark, I was
just fooling around.

Got you.

How do you learn the alphabet
? be on time

come on, sams!
You can do it.

He's on time j-o-e c-l-a...
don't give up!

Fall in together,

going "how do you like
the weather?"

Going "how do you
learn the alphabet?"

Be on time

school bell ring
at a quarter to 9:00

that's it, sams!
Stay with it, boy!

Be on time

"how do you learn
the alphabet?" be on time

how do you spell eastside
, eastside high?

How do you spell Joe Clark?
He's on time

j-o-e c-l... holy cow! I'm out of here.

Clark can't even get them past that test.

I thought we'd settled this.

With the doors chained,
that school's a firetrap.

He's laughing at us.

The man has a legitimate problem.

How does he keep drug pushers
out of his school

if their buddies can let them walk on in?

He's got a point.

This doesn't concern you.

Don, we can both go to jail.

By statute, we are legally responsible.

If a fire broke out and a kid got hurt,

they're going to get trampled.

A bunch of savages anyway.

Savages?

Don, can't you control your men?

Ladies and gentlemen,

please leave me alone
with Mrs. Barrett.

Don, I want to talk to you.

I'll call you later at your office.

Thank you, frank.
Close the door?

I want to apologize for
the chief's use of language.

I don't like none of you people.

Then let's cut through the formalities.

What do you want?

Clark!

Just like that.
Head on a platter.

You think I got an attitude.

Let me tell you what I think.

You like Clark because he's a guard dog,

does your dirty work,
keeps the black folk in line.

That's fine, but you got
to get re-elected.

I got enough folks lined up with me

to give you a damn hard time,
and I'll get more.

Unless I do what?

Appoint me to the school board

so we can vote Clark out.

Otherwise we'll have to vote you out.

It's always a pleasure to see citizens

avail themselves of
the Democratic process.

My job will be easy.

You're not too popular
these days, are you?

I'll sic the fire chief on Clark.

Will that satisfy you?

Yes. And then I'll get
the school board to dismiss him.

Then you'll come out publicly for me.

It'll be my pleasure,
Mr. Mayor.

That Barrett is a bitch on wheels.

Smart. She's smart.

Yeah. She got
your number.

When am I supposed to do this?

Now we'd just disrupt things.

Give him another week
to prepare for that test.

Then we'll catch him
with chains on the doors.

We nail him, and we make her happy.

Politics.
What a business.

It's just like yours, putting out fires.

The mayor's going to nail me?

What do I always say?

He's got the hammer and nails himself.

These are some of my white students.

Frankie, Bernard, Steve.

Boys, this is Mr. Rosenberg,
school attorney.

Let him hear the school song.

Fair eastside by thy side by thy side?

We'll stand we'll stand?

And always praise thy name- all right!

I can't stand this.
Needs work, fellas.

Some things you can't teach.

Bad singing isn't genetic.

How's your mother?

She got that job.
She's feeling good.

Girls, what are you doing?

The phone's broken.
My baby's sick.

Make your call from the office.

When will you girls learn?

I ain't ashamed about my baby.

Nobody's saying you should be ashamed.

And she ain't ashamed of me.

Whenever she look at me,

she don't see no wrong.

Ok. Go on and make
your call.

Mr. Vanzetti,
let these girls make a call.

Hey, Mr. Clark.

We can't let them know who told you.

Why not?

Mr. Clark,
we got a problem.

How come you leave us out?

Everything's for the black kids.

The gospel chorus, football, basketball

is for the blacks.

I'm short. I can't
play basketball.

The point is, you're ignoring us.

We're getting really ticked off.

With a mouth like yours,

you ought to study law.

Really?

You kids wait for me in my office.

If you all talk at once,
I can't do anything.

I'll be with you ladies in a minute.

Boss, you and Mr. Rosenberg
better wait out here.

Miss Lynn, give Markus a pass.

Ms. Levias,
is everyone here?

Yes, sir.

Let me have your attention.

With the help of my ubiquitous,
clandestine informants

I have learned that the mayor
has told the fire chief

to catch me with chains on the doors.

They want to prosecute me
and get me out of here.

The security guards are
our first line of defense.

If you see the fire chief,
stop him at the gates.

Call in code 10 on your walkie-talkies.

We will repeat code 10
on the P.A. System.

All teachers and guards
have keys to the exit doors.

When you hear code 10,

proceed to your assigned door
and remove the chains.

Guards, resume your posts.
Ms. Levias, take over.

Tell those kids in my office
to meet me here 7th period.

How did it go?

It's under control.

I have the progress report

on the reading program.

I thought you'd like to hear it.

I would like to hear it.

I'd also like to hear
the kids in my office,

and Mr. Rosenberg,
and Dr. Napier.

I can't be 10 different
places at the same time.

Maybe my vice principal can do
something without me for once.

Mr. Clark.

I'll help you 7th period.

Excuse me.

Good night,
Mr. Clark.

Good night.

Mr. Clark.

Yes, Ms. Levias.

May I talk to you for a minute, please?

What do you want?

I want you to transfer me.

To where?

Out of here.

This doesn't surprise me.

I've sensed resistance in you
since our very first meeting.

You're an egomaniacal windbag.

Who you talking to?
You!

You like to whip people
who can't fight back.

I thought I could take it
because I had a father

in the same kind of pain

that makes you such a bastard,

but I was wrong.
Life is much too short.

I will not endure you any longer.

The only reason I haven't walked out

and half the staff with me

is because those children need us.

You're so busy talking discipline,

you forget to educate.

What the hell do you think
I've been doing here?

You cleaned it up.
That was easy.

Those children want to be helped.

They've done everything we've asked,

but I feel sorry for them.

They're not ready to take that test.

What the hell are you talking about?

I have done everything- I.
It is always i.

There are 300 teachers here.

You don't do it alone.

I don't have to listen
to these accusations.

Youwilllisten!

All right, Ms. Levias,
go ahead and talk.

You've been flapping your mouth,

and you haven't heard a thing.

You haven't seen what's
painfully obvious.

I'll tell you what- no, let me finish!

Everybody here may not like you,

but we all applaud your effort.

What you don't understand

is the same people who support you

are the ones you're beating up!

You don't even say thank you.

You just constantly abuse them,

criticize them.

What the hell do you want from me?

I want you to get this straight.

Most of the teachers are
here because they care

about those children,
this school, this fight.

They're in it with you.

They take it home the same as you.

They are part of those children's lives.

You are thoughtless and
cruel, and it hurts.

And none of them deserve it.

They are sick of it, and so am i.

Ms. Levias.

What's this?

The transfer you asked for.

All right, people.
Here we are.

This is the day.

In one hour,

you're going to take an exam
administered by the state

to test your basic skills

and the quality of education
at eastside high.

And I want to tell you

what the people out there
are saying about you

and what they think about your chances.

They say you are inferior.

Come on!

Come on!

Come on! Come on!

"You are just a bunch of niggers
and spics and poor white trash."

"Education is wasted on you."

"You cannot learn!"

You're lost!

I mean all of you.

I want all the white students
to stand up.

All my white students, stand up.

Come on.

Stand up.
Stand up.

That's it.
Come on, stand up.

These are my white children,

and they're the same as all of you.

They've got no place to go.

Otherwise, they would have
abandoned us a long time ago,

but they couldn't.

So here they are at eastside,
just like the rest of us.

You can sit down.

Are you getting my point, people?

Yes!

Is it sinking in?

Yes!

We sink, we swim.

We rise, we fall.

We meet our fate together!

Now, it took the help
of a good, good friend

to make me know and understand that,

and I do understand it, and I'm grateful.

I'm eternally grateful.

And I've got a message
for those people out there

who've abandoned you and written you off.

Can you hear me?

Yes!

Can you hear me?

Yes!

Good!

You are not inferior!

Your grades may be.

Your school may have been.

But you can turn that around

and make liars out of those bastards

in exactly one hour!

You'll take that test, pass it, and win!

So here's what I want you to do.

When you find your minds wandering,

I want you to knuckle back down
and concentrate.

Concentrate!

Remember what's at stake

and show them what eastside high
is all about-

a spirit that will not die!

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain

we all have sorrow but if we are wise

we know that there's always tomorrow

lean on me when you're not strong

and I'll be your friend?

I'll help you carry on
for it won't be long

till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

you just call on me, brother

when you need a hand

we all need somebody to lean on

I just might have a problem?

That you'll understand

we all need somebody to lean on

why don't you lean on me?

Lean on me if you need a friend

you can lean on me I'll be your friend

lean on me you can lean on me

come on and lean on me lean on me

you can lean on me

please, won't you swallow your pride?

If I have things you need to borrow

for no one can fill those of your needs

that you won't let go

why don't you just lean on?

Anytime lean on come on and lean on

lean on me, you can lean on me

if you need a friend lean on me

you can lean on me and
if you got a problem

you can lean on me I'm
your problem solver?

You can lean on me why don't you lean?

Lean on me come on and lean on me

you can lean on me call on me, brother

you can lean on me sister,
give me your hand

lean on me, you can lean on me

you can, you can, you can

lean on me, you can lean on me

swallow up your pride

lean on me, you can lean on...

please, children, people lean on me,

eastside!

Eastside! Eastside!

Eastside! Eastside!
Eastside!

Eastside! Eastside!
Eastside!

Eastside! Eastside! Eastside!
Eastside...

dum dum-dum-dum-dum dum-dum-dum-dum

dum-dum-dum dum-dum dum-dum

sometimes in our lives we all have pain

we all have sorrow dum-dum-dum

but if we are wise

we know that there's always tomorrow

I told you these things take time.

Just how long am I supposed to wait?

You boys are messing
with the wrong female.

He won't let me in.

What's going on?

Would you talk to her?

I thought we had made a deal.

Don't broadcast it all over town.

I have got a school board meeting tonight

and enough votes to get Clark kicked out

if I can prove he's chained those doors.

We can get that if you move on him today.

Chief gaines already tried that.

Bullshit! I've made
promises of my own.

I've got people with me right now.

If I can't deliver- just a minute.

And I do not issue idle threats.

Then don't, because
I don't want to hear it.

Ok, chief.

Mrs. Barrett was
promised some action.

I think it's time we get a court order

and get you past those guards.

Sounds good to me.

He ain't worth it.

Jerk.

That's right.
He's a jerk.

I told you that.

You don't listen to me.

What are you two ladies doing in here?

Lillian, aren't you supposed
to be in class?

Kaneesha?

What's going on here?

Lillian?

What is this?

You'll have to ask her.

Kaneesha, what's the matter?

I got pregnant.

Please don't be mad at me.

Let me talk to her alone.

Did you tell your mother?

I can't.

Reggie's the father?

He says it's not his, but I know it is.

I've never been with no other boys.

I never meant for this to happen.

You girls never do.

So many of you bringing
babies into this world

just to prove you can
accomplish something.

And you're doing so well now, kaneesha.

There are other alternatives.

I'm scared.
I don't know what to do.

I'll tell you what we'll do.

We'll have your mother
come to the school.

We'll put our heads together.

I'm sure we'll be able to help you decide

what's best for you
to do. Trust me?

Mr. Clark!

8:00 A.M.
I'll call your mother.

What is it?

The fire chief.

He got past the gate.

Code 10! Get those
chains off the door!

The enemy's here!

We got it locked,
Mr. Clark.

Mr. Clark,
you're under arrest.

For what?

Basically for being an asshole.

Specifically for conspiracy
to violate of the fire code.

I got no problem with the fire code.

The only problem here is you.

And your problem is your mouth.

Get those chains
off the doors!

The enemy's here!

We got it
locked, Mr. Clark.

Cuff him!

Hey, Mr. Clark!

What's this all about?

It's about someone finally
standing up to this man

instead of taking his orders like a maid.

How dare you speak like that!

Mrs. Barrett- shut up! You're finished!

The school board
will hear this at 7:00,

and we'll vote your black ass out.

Yo, bitch, vote on this!

You go to class!

You're acting principal now.

I expect you to perform as I would.

What-what's going on?

What did you do?

I chained the doors.

You break the law, you pay the price.

We still got to go to class?

Yes. All of you,
get back to class! Now!

Mr. Clark... go on!

Who will look after the school?

Go on!
Get back to class!

Get back in there,
all of you! Go on!

Ms. Levias,
they're your responsibility!

I guess we ought to
be getting out of here, Joe.

That school board meeting's
about to begin.

Do whatever we can.

Have you thought about
a new line of work?

Perhaps an exciting career
in electronics?

It's just a little joke.

I'm going.

I've got no complaints, Joe.

As far as I'm concerned,

what you accomplished down at that school

was a goddamn miracle.

Those kids have a light in their eyes now

that was never, never there before.

Thanks, boss.

You know, I'm always
trying to teach my kids

to stay out of jail.

Look at me.

You go on.

Do what you got to do.

He has failed at his professional task.

We brought him in to save our school

from a takeover from the state.

That was the mandate from our mayor.

But the test scores on the practice exam

were 35% below passing.

Now, maybe if we dump him now

and get a new principal ourselves-

show the state
that we're doing something-

we can pre-empt the takeover,

but only if we get him out

before those final test scores come back.

After that, it'll be too late.

This board won't have any power.

It'll be nothing but a rubber stamp.

Mrs. Arthur,
those are the facts.

I appreciate your personal
loyalty to Mr. Clark,

but he has let our children down,

and our loyalty should be to them.

Our loyalty should be
to the man we hired.

Order! Order!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Order,
ladies and gentlemen!

Order, please!

We cannot continue this meeting

with this kind
of chaos! Please!

Sit down!
Come to order!

Dr. Napier,
Dr. Napier,

I think you should call the question now.

I cannot call the question.

All points of view seem
to have been exhausted here.

No further purpose
will be served by this.

Why don't you have someone on the board-

Mr. Clark's students
have assembled outside

in an exercise of their
first amendment rights.

How many?

It looks like all of them.

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

We're in a tough spot here.

I have to ask your help, Joe.

It's not for me.
It's for those kids.

They're very emotional.
They're all jacked up.

You have to send them home.

I don't have to do nothing
but stay black and die.

For crying out loud.

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

People, before this gets out of hand,

listen, for your own safety,
listen to me!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

All right, Joe.
Let me put it this way.

First, I wanted you to succeed.

Now, don't think that I
ever wanted anything else.

But you're a realist, Joe, just like me.

Think what would happen
if there was a riot

and cops had to clear that square.

I'd have law and order on my side,

and the only people who'd be hurt

would be your kids.

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Free Mr. Clark!

Listen to me!

People, please!

You must all disperse
and return to your homes!

Your presence here is helping no one.

Why don't you use your brains and listen?

Free Mr. Clark!

Thank you.

Listen up.

Settle down. Give her
a chance to talk.

She might actually have something to say.

Chill. Settle down.

Let's listen to the old
loudmouthed wench.

Here you go, Barrett.

Here you go.

You can call me what you want,

but the simple fact is

Mr. Clark has broken the laws
of this state

and exposed you all to grave danger.

His behavior is irresponsible.

Chaining those doors was a criminal act.

Why do you think
they call him "crazy Joe"?

Because you don't understand him.

Yeah.
That's right.

He chained those doors

to keep out the drug dealers.

You're twisting the law.

The laws are made to protect the people.

That's what he's doing for us.

Yes!

The thing that you don't understand

is that Mr. Clark
believes in us.

He doesn't believe in you!

You don't take care of
your responsibility!

Despite what he himself may believe,

Mr. Clark is not
eastside high!

Mr. Clark is not
only eastside high.

Mr. Clark is
like a father,

the only father some of us know.

You don't know a thing about Mr. Clark!

People!
People, just hear me!

The school board is meeting right now,

and we will give you
what eastside high deserves-

a good principal.

We don't want a good principal!

We want Mr. Clark!

You may think you know what you want,

but the question is what is best for you,

for eastside high.

This thing's getting out of hand.

Talk to them, please.

To see that this gets resolved

so that you can continue your education.

Free Mr. Clark!

People! People...

yay!

All right!

I wonder why I can't get
this kind of turnout

for study hall.

All right, now.

Kids, this is all very nice,

but now I'm going to insist
that you all go home

and let the laws of the land prevail.

No!

No! No! No!

No! No! No!

Now, listen.

Listen.

If I've taught you anything,

I have tried to give you
respect for the law.

Now, I want you all to go home

in an orderly fashion!

No! No! No!

Your voices have been heard!

No! No! No!

I appreciate your concern for me.

No! No! No!

But now is the time to go home.

No! No! No!

Kids, listen. You're not
helping the matters any.

You're not helping our cause

if you stay here.

No! No! No!

I thought I left you
in charge of these students.

You got to read this.

Is this taking care
of your responsibility?

Read it!

No! No! No!

No! No! No!

No! No! No!

No! No! No!

No! No! No!

Boss.

No! No! No!

No! No! No!

No! No! No!

Dr. Napier,
it is my duty-

it is my privilege
and my honor to report to you

that the students of eastside high

have passed the minimum
basic skills test!

Mr. Mayor.

Yeah!
All right!

Go get him!

Mr. Mayor,
on behalf of myself

and on behalf of the students
of eastside high,

you can tell the state to go to hell.

I told you.

You should not have brought him here...

Joe Louis Clark is not going anywhere.

Are you ready, my ghosts?

Yes!

Let me hear it.

1, 2, 3!

Fair eastside by thy side we'll stand?

And always praise thy name

to ever lend our hearts and hands

congratulations.

Come on, son.

Thy fame the honor of old eastside high

brings forth our loyalty

so cheer for dear old eastside high

lead on to victory

so cheer for dear old eastside high

lead on to victory lean on me

when you're not strong

and I'll be your friend?

I'll help you carry on for I know

that it won't be long till I'm gonna need

somebody to lean on

you just call on me, brother call me

if you feel you need a hand

'cause we all need
somebody just to lean on

I just might have a problem a problem

you'll understand

we all need somebody to lean on

yeah

listen, now if there is a load

you have to bear that you can't carry

just remember I, I'm right up the road

I'll share your load
if you just call on me

you have to call me call me

whenever you're in trouble call me

I'll understand call me we all have pain

call me we all have sorrow call me

hey hey hey just lean on me

lean lean on me lean on j-just lean on me

lean lean on me lean on me just, just

lean on him?
Yes, yes, why?

Things are better

and we're finally
working together in unity

and you're soon to see

eastside high as a better place to be

the students, the pupils
have morals and scruples

our learning ability
has increased quadruple

and we're off to a brand-new start

I played my part
to prove that you're smart?

And it's proven but I ain't movin'

I won't be going, I'm here

when you need someone to lean on

so take heed to this
as a blessing and remember

ain't no half steppin'

get it in full gear

I'm sure that you'll care in the long run

when you got full gear
that means authority

positivity word so let
knowledge uproot you

go for yours, 'cause we're the future

the ones who rise to supremacy

and if you ever need a
hand just lean on me

j-j-j-just lean just lean on me lean

j-j-j-just just lean
on me lean j-j-j-just

lean just lean on me j-j-j-just lean

just lean on me

lean lean on me

lean

lean on me

Captioning performed by the
national captioning institute, inc.