Lean on Me

Factual error: In the scene where Joe Clark and the Vice Principal go to the project buildings to see the young girl's mother, they walk down a short ramp to an apartment. Those project buildings are in Paterson,N.J. (where the story takes place), but walking down that ramp takes you to the boiler room, not an apartment. None of those buildings have apartments like that.

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Factual error: Just after the opening credits, Thomas Sams is stuffed into a locker by two other boys, but a big kid like Sams would never fit into a real high school locker.

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Mistakes

When Joe Clark first comes to Eastside High as principal, he takes it upon himself to confront the staff. At one point, as he begins to turn his back, watch his lips. His mouth does not match the words being spoken.

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Trivia

Although in real life Principal Joe Clark improved the discipline problems at Eastside High School, he did not, contrary to what the film has you believe, improve the academics in any meaningful way. Although test scores improved very slightly his first couple of years as principal (partly due to the fact that he expelled so many bad students) from 1986 to 1988, during his time as principal, Eastside High School had the lowest state exam passage rates in all of New Jersey. One of these years in particular, under Clark's tenure, Eastside High's passage rate was as low as 24.1%.

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