Lean on Me is rated as 18+. Although, the first 3 times I saw it, were my freshmen, sophomore, & senior years of high school- in high school classes, although not Eastside High, not in New Jersey, not on the East coast, or even past California; the high school I attended was called East High. I was in high school 1994-97. And I didn't turn 18 (those 1st-3 times were all under age 18), until May 1997. The 18+ rating is mostly due to the language content- having done work in a detention setting, that comes with the nature of that job & jobs along that same line. That doesn't mean every person uses that language, but it is present in those settings.
Lean on Me is a good movie, that demonstrates standing up for justice, from a educational/school standpoint, from an at-risk & low income neighborhood standpoint. This is also an example of not letting self, pride, ego, & "I" control a person's character. Since it is a movie; not a documentary, there is of course a lot of acting. But there are youth today, who deal with a lot of the same issues, that are portrayed in the movie. As a person who is highly interested is helping high risk youth &/or youth who are or have already been in juvenile hall/custody, I appreciate this movie because it is based off of a true story, that involved a real high school, a real principal, real teachers, real students, real parents, & a real community.