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34 Lean on Me Trivia Questions & Answers

Lean on Me
This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Lean on Me, as asked by users of FunTrivia.com.

There are 34 questions on this topic. Last updated Jul 24 2024.
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1 What does Mr. Darnell do that leads to a nasty showdown between him and Mr. Clark in the principal's office?
Answer: He is picking up a piece of paper off the floor as Clark is addressing the students.

In "Lean On Me," Mr. Darnell had already been humiliated by Clark's demoting him as the football coach, so he is in no mood to allow himself to be abused publicly again.
The actor portraying Mr. Darnell (Michael Beach) has been a semi-regular on "ER" for several seasons, playing an AIDS-infected husband who gave the disease to his wife. He has had a more prominent regular role on the NBC prime-time drama "Third Watch", and feature roles in such films as "Waiting to Exhale" and "Cadence".
2 What is the name of the "God-forsaken" high school?
Answer: Eastside High School

Eastside High School students continue to do poorly on standardized tests, despite valiant teacher efforts and millions of dollars being devoted to turning things around. Clark's rather extreme ways earn him the nickname "Crazy Joe."
3 What was the name of the teacher who later became principal?
Answer: Joe Clark

They called him "Crazy" Joe Clark because of his unorthodox approach to getting things done in education. And although they thought him crazy they knew he was the one to save Eastside High from the slum school it had become.
Question Reference: Quiz: Lean on Me.
4 The students are seen participating in the project full gusto. They even hold fund-raisers. One involves selling shirts. What slogan is printed on the front of those shirts?
Answer: Take No Prisoners.

"By Any Means Necessary" was the major rallying cry of the late Malcolm X during his battle for racial equality in the 1960's. "Commitment to Excellence" has long been the popular motto of football's Oakland Raiders. "We Shall Overcome" was the inspirational theme and song of the American Civil Rights Movement. "Take No Prisoners" is the least heralded but most used of the choices, often barked out prior to game time by athletic teams.
5 What incident causes Mr. Clark to have all of his school's doors chained?
Answer: A student is assaulted by a violent intruder.

The tactic does keep intruders out, but it violates the state fire code. In NJ, all public buildings must keep their exits barrier-free, including chains.
6 In the beginning, Joe Clark's union brothers sell him out during some tough labor negotiations. They agree to new contract stipulations behind his back. In return, Mr. Clark is to be transferred to which lower elementary school?
Answer: School 6

Today, Paterson has 34 elementary schools and middle schools, and most are NOT like the wonderful School 6 seen in the film. However, School 6 is considered less likely to raise strife for the Paterson Board of Education, thus making it easier to stifle Clark.
7 In a scene depicting Eastside's extra efforts to boost the test scores, Samms is seen successfully handling a tough problem in which class?
Answer: Chemistry

This subject has been labeled the hardest in high school and college. Backed by a catchy song, this bite is part of a long scene showing just how dedicated the students, faculty and even parents become in hiking the test scores.
8 In which New Jersey City is "Lean On Me" set?
Answer: Paterson

All four cities have dealt with serious education problems over the past 20 years. All have been classified as Abbott school districts, which means they receive extra government funding for special needs programs and additional faculty.
9 When the film first pays attention to Eastside High, what song is playing in the background?
Answer: "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns 'N Roses

The film offers an incredibly diverse music score, including the title song. However, the original version of "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers is not used. Instead, the Club Noveau version from the 1980s is used on the soundtrack. The version used in the film is an original.
10 Who was the parent who formed a vendetta against the principal?
Answer: Barrett

One of the first things Clark did was to throw out all the students who were the troublemakers. Barrett's son was one of them, and she decided she would "get" Clark. She came very close to getting Clark out of Eastside. She hadn't counted on how much the students, and even staff, came to love him.
Question Reference: Quiz: Lean on Me.
11 Clark has a rare good mood day ruined by bad news delivered by one of his favorite kids. Who is the bearer of the bad news and what is the bad news?
Answer: Kaneisha - She is pregnant.

Kaneisha, is the bright, high-achiever Clark knew at another school. Clark believes she has great potential, and at one point even helped her mother clean up her life so Kaneisha wouldn't lose out in school. Thus, Mr. Clark is quite upset by the news and promises to get together with the girl and her mother to seek a solution.

Louisa is the ambitious girl who asked Mr. Clark to transfer to an auto mechanics class, and Richard is the class president. Samms is the formerly expelled student Clark dared to jump off the roof.
12 Which composer's work is being rehearsed when Mr. Clark and the music teacher have their nasty argument?
Answer: Mozart

Mr. Clark rudely interrupts the music class in order to demand that all students be taught the school anthem. The music teacher complains that she is in the middle of teaching a complicated section of the piece, and resents being interrupted. Of course, that annoys Mr. Clark, and he winds up firing her.
13 Who directs the film?
Answer: John Avildsen

Hughes is best known for his films about teenage angst like "The Breakfast Club". Poitier starred in the 1960s memorable bad school movie, "To Sir With Love". Singleton's school-related work is "Higher Learning", while Avildsen directed "The Karate Kid" and "Rocky," the latter for which he won an Oscar.
14 Clark did more than a few things that got people upset, but which action got him into trouble with city officials as well as parents?
Answer: chaining the school doors shut

Clark discovered that even though he threw the drug dealing students out of the school, their friends would simply let them back in. So Clark chain locked the school doors shut, getting him into trouble with parents and the city fire chief. It was a teacher who threw a desk at Clark. Actually he tipped it over in a rage at Clark.
Question Reference: Quiz: Lean on Me.
15 Clark is in the auditorium when he is alerted to the on-site presence of the fire chief. Through a walkie-talkie, Clark orders the chains be removed, yelling which command?
Answer: Code 10

The plan fails and Clark is arrested, much to the glee of the fire chief, who plays back Clark's orders on a tape-recorder. Present is Clark's nemesis, Ms. Barrett, who insults both Clark and Vice principal Ms. Levias as the principal is led out of the school in handcuffs. True to form, he barks at Ms. Levias to run the school as he would.
16 Which award-winning TV actor portrays Clark's friend and Board of Education superintendent Frank Napier?
Answer: Robert Guilluame

By and large Mr. Napier is supportive of Clark, battling even the mayor on behalf of the principal. But he, too, recognizes that Clark steps over the line, and during one argument has to remind his colleague that it is he, and not the principal, who is the head person in charge.
All four of the actors featured in this question have had stellar film and/or television careers. Before his role as Mr. Napier, Guillaume won Emmy Awards as the irascible title character "Benson" and as the sarcastic butler (the same Benson character) in "Soap". Poitier starred in "To Sir With Love" and was the first African-American to win a Best Actor Oscar for his role as Homer Smith in 1963's "Lilies of the Field". Braugher had major roles in "Glory" and TV's "Homicide: Life on the Streets", winning an Emmy Award for his work in the latter. Rhames has starred in many projects, winning a Golden Globe Award for his role in HBO's "Don King: Only in America".
17 Mr. Clark immediately makes enemies at his first staff meeting, which includes the demotion of one head coach. Which sport did the fired coach, a regular on the NBC medical show "ER", work at?
Answer: football

Clark tells the beleaguered coach that he's being replaced because he's tired of seeing the team lose all the time. Incidentally, all Eastside teams are nicknamed the Ghosts. It is believed that part of the Eastside landscape was built atop a cemetery.
18 The principal was known to carry around what two objects while he walked the school halls?
Answer: bullhorn and baseball bat

Right off Clark used a bullhorn to get his point across to the students. He then began carrying a bat. He said they called him Crazy Joe Clark, now they could call him Batman. This was kind of funny given that Morgan Freeman was one of the principal actors in "Batman Begins", a part that came much later in his career.
Question Reference: Quiz: Lean on Me.
19 In perhaps the film's most pivotal scene, Ms. Levias confronts Mr. Clark after he embarrasses her in public again. She's had enough, and calls him what to his face?
Answer: An egomaniacal windbag.

Clark fights back, defending his actions as claiming he has received little support. Ms. Levias demands that she be transferred to another school. She also tells Mr. Clark that although some of the teachers may not like him, they have supported his efforts to raise the test scores. She points out that Clark inappropriately uses the word "I" in describing the extra work going on at Eastside, when, in fact, all of the school's 300 teachers have been equally involved.
20 A bright Hispanic girl asks to switch her elective from home economics. Clark grants her request, noting that the class she wants to take could lead to a high-paying job in what field?
Answer: Automotive Engineering

She wants to switch to auto shop. In the film it is obvious that Clark's heart belongs the students. He cares beyond the normal principal-student circle, helping them with family problems and spending fun time with them. He is sharp with them, but he mixes in a whole lot of love and practical wisdom.
21 During his first assembly, Mr. Clark is greeted by a girl named Kaneisha. How does he know her?
Answer: He was her principal in fifth-grade.

The actress playing Kaneisha would later star for a couple of years on NBC's "A Different World". Like most supporting roles in the film, Kaneisha is not a character in whole, but a composite of several wrapped into one. In the film, however, the very bright Kaneisha brings Clark both joy and worry.
22 The high school featured in the movie was located in what American state?
Answer: New Jersey

The movie was based on the real Eastside High which was located in New Jersey. The students and the school were featured in the movie.
Question Reference: Quiz: Lean on Me.
23 Ms. Barrett's board meeting to remove Mr. Clark is interrupted by loud street chants from hundreds of students. What does Mr. Rosenberg tell the mayor the students are doing?
Answer: Participating in "an exercise of their First Amendment Rights."

Hundreds of students converge outside board offices, which happens to be near the police station where their principal is jailed. The kids are angry, repeating the demand "Free Mr. Clark." The mayor winds up asking Mr. Clark to intercede.
24 Where in the school does Mr. Clark first hear the beautiful rendition of the revamped school song?
Answer: In the boys' bathroom.

It is performed by Samms and four cohorts, who are caught loitering during class time. Clark demands they sing the school song upon the threat of a three-day suspension.What comes out of their mouths is poetry. He is told by the singers that the author of the revamped school song is the new music teacher. She later tells Clark she rewrote the song because the students found the original boring.
25 To the 300 students he kicks out during the assembly Mr. Clark says: "You students are all ________________...You are all _______________."
Answer: incorrigible!------expurgated!

Among the misdeeds committed by those who are leaving Eastside is drug dealing, assault and weapons dealing. Clark announces their expulsion after they are unable to sing the school song. The school song issue will become pivotal later on in the film.