Joe Louis Clark, the real principle that inspired the movie Lean On Me, has died and the world is mourning his loss. He was eighty-two.
The world lost another legend on Tuesday.
via: GettyTributes for the late educator have been pouring in...
RIP Joe Clark. 2020 has taken another hero of mine. https://t.co/26ZsxDfgKC— Ato Boldon (@Ato Boldon)1609292317.0
“THEY USED TO CALL ME CRAZY JOE, NOW THEY CAN CALL ME BATMAN!” rip to Joe Clark. Gonna have to rewatch/recite sc… https://t.co/geE8QyEO1M— tee mozelle’s second sight (@tee mozelle’s second sight)1609294697.0
Ugggghhhhh. I'm gonna have to run Lean on Me back for the one time. RIP Joe Clark— M§ Sugar N. Spice 👑💫 (@M§ Sugar N. Spice 👑💫)1609296890.0
I know a lot of folks aren’t hip to who Principal Joe Clark was, but if you’ve seen Lean On Me...too many great sce… https://t.co/6fTiuoGlQG— Malcolm (@Malcolm)1609339044.0
RIP Principal Joe Clark....A great educator..#leanonme— Prince Residual (@Prince Residual)1609339091.0
Damn Joe clark passed, RIP to the jersey legend— Gene Starwind (@Gene Starwind)1609289581.0
RIP to Joe Clark 🕊💕 I love “Lean on Me” 🙁— Ebbz (@Ebbz)1609375138.0
Watching Lean on Me for the millionth time in honor of Joe Clark. #RIP— Kiki (@Kiki)1609298766.0
Everybody in Jersey ought to know about Joe Clark, RIP 🤍— memphis sneak (@memphis sneak)1609334870.0
2020 not letting up. RIP to another Paterson legend Mr. Joe Clark 🙏🏾— The Scrinch 🎄 (@The Scrinch 🎄)1609333095.0
RIP Joe Clark. Seeing Lean On Me as a kid was a life-altering. Will sing Fair Eastside tonight in your memory.— Paul Cantor (@Paul Cantor)1609300090.0
A role model, mentor & friend who gave me my 1st job as a teen, has transitioned today. Joe Clark left an indelibl… https://t.co/I3jAw8e6ja— Cheryl Mitchell Wade (@Cheryl Mitchell Wade)1609315944.0
For those of you that aren't aware, Joe Clark was considered one of the best educators in the nation.
via: GettyHe was the principal of a troubled New Jersey high school in the '80s and gained attention for his less-than-traditional approach to teaching students the meaning of discipline.
He definitely wasn't soft in his approach.
via: GettyA baseball bat in one hand and a speakerphone in the other, Clark really left an impression on everyone he came across.
On one occasion, he even expelled three-hundred students all at once...
via: GettyFor disruptive behavior, fighting, and drug use on-premises.
And then 5 years later, he then expelled another sixty students...
via: GettyWho he later described as “leeches, miscreants and hoodlums." Of course, that earned him an investigation from the Paterson school board, but those charges were later dropped.
Clark re-gained control of a poor, largely Black and Hispanic student body...
via: GettyDenouncing "affirmative action and welfare policies" and “hocus-pocus liberals" with his intense grip on the system.
However, despite his critics, the success of his techniques were mesmerizing.
via: GettyHe managed to instill confidence and pride in his students, and in turn, this improved test scores and behavior at the school.
His work also earned him praise from President Ronald Reagan and Reagan’s education secretary, William J. Bennett.
via: GettyBut that's not all. He also earned himself a spot on the cover of Time Magazine in 1988 holding his baseball bat.
“Is getting tough the answer?" the headline read.
via: Getty“School principal Joe Clark says yes — and critics are up in arms."
Clark became known as an icon.
via: imdbHe went onto have a movie dedicated to his efforts called Lean On Me where his "character" was played by the legend that is Morgan Freeman.
The school drama became a staple in the lives of audiences.
via: imdb“I refuse to let a bunch of obdurate, rebellious board members run me out of this town that I’ve worked in so assiduously for twenty-seven years," he told The Washington Post in 1988.
The tragic news of his death saddened his fans and admirers.
via: imdbHis family revealed that he had passed on Tuesday at his home in Florida. This was due to an "undisclosed illness."