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Joe Clark

Clark expressing sadness at Kid Rey dropping out. This scene really shows that Clark is changing some of his questionable tactics.

Joe Clark was both an anti-hero of the 1989 movie Lean on Me.

He was played by Morgan Freeman.

Joe Clark wants to change the school, but has some fairly questionable tactics (like humiliating a kid for a petty thing, like stealing someone's food), and suspending a teacher like Mr Darnell for picking up someone's thing on the floor, while they were observing the school song.

However, when Frank Napier, has a meeting and chastizes Clark for his acts, Clark starts to realize he was wrong in some of the acts he does. This sets off the interesting second half of the movie. And in this we start to see Clark change his ways. He no longer will brag about his power. He even shows his warm side when Kid Rey declares he wants to leave, warning Kid Rey, "You'll be dead in a year, son." Funny, even when he was a jerk in the first half, and he talked to Sams he called him "son" as well.

However, his real change is when Sams and his buddies impresses him, giving him a change of heart about how he has treated him, when he tells him that they went to the bathroom to perform the new school song, which Mrs Powers changed. In doing so he starts to have a respect for Sams he may not have had before. He no longer holds Sams by his neck anymore. Once after the scene, we start to see a change in him definitely, when he holds a PTA meeting, and he says that he doesn't blame the kids for the reason they fail and have hopeless, but the parents themselves for not disciplining their kids or being there for them (this is a contrast to the beginning when he tells the kids that if they fail, blame themselves).

Now it's important to note, that until Ms Lavias gets him to see the error of his ways in certain things, right before the big speech he gives the day of the exam, he still is stubborn, at least in the way he runs his operation. However the changes he displays after the first 50 minutes of the movie is there for the most part.

Joe Clark's heroic acts go on the increase even more. He becomes a matryr in Mayor Battmann's cruel oppression of him. At 1:07 into the movie, we see a montage of the school changing for the better, with an 80s pop song. At this point Clark becomes the father figure who causes change, like Jesus when he changed many sinner's lives. Clark is kind of like Jesus. He even gives a thumbs up to Mr Darnell in this montage. He gives a motivating speech right before the statewide exam in which he reminds his kids that they are not what the racists think of them, that they can perserve.

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