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The Ron Clark Story
By J. Byron Dean
August 13, 2006 on TNT
Staring: Matthew Perry, Hannah Hodson, Brandon
Smith, Ernie Hudson,
Genre: Drama with comedic moments, True story
Overall PTC Rating:
The Ron Clark Story
tells the real-life saga of a North Carolina grade school teacher with an
amazing record of success with students; his unique teaching style brings out
the best in even the worst students and he tests his mettle in one of the
toughest classrooms in America. An exceptionally inspiring movie, The Ron
Clark Story is suitable for family viewing and for children 8-years old and
In the title role, Matthew Perry
steps away from his comfortable, and much loved, image of Chandler Bing from
Friends to bring us into the world of a gifted teacher, Ron Clark. Having
achieved great success with students in his local school system, Ron believes
that he can do much more good outside of his small home town, so he moves to New
York City, hoping to teach underprivileged kids in the inner city. But being
Caucasian is a drawback in Harlem and none of the New York City public schools
will hire him. Here Clark exhibits one of his strongest traits: he never gives
up, not on his students and not on getting hired. He knows he can make a
difference if given the chance. Destiny intervenes one day when he observes a
teacher getting rough with a student who is trying to leave campus. The teacher
fights with the school's principal and quits, giving Clark the opportunity to
let his availability be known. At first he is ignored but finally the principal
decides to give him a chance. He is given a class that includes what everyone
considers to be the "losers," the worst students in the school. They have the
lowest grades, are the most unruly, and the least achieving. But Ron Clark sees
potential in every child and will not give up on them.
The steps he takes, the approaches
he makes, the energy he extends and the devotion he shows produce a wonderful
outcome. He reaches the children that everyone, including their parents, had
written off. He successfully brings out their strengths: the artist, the
scientist, the math wiz. Best of all he makes each of them aware of their own
self-worth. He gives them more than an education and a desire to keep on
learning; he gives each one the knowledge that they do matter, and that when
they put their hearts and minds to it, they can achieve anything.
There is very little offensive
content in this movie. The only swear words are "lazy ass" and "damn," each said
only once. There is one moment of violence involving a foster father beating his
foster son, though the actions are off screen. In the following scene Clark
finds the boy, with blood on his face, in an alley. Later the boy is shown with
a cast on his arm.
In all The Ron Clark Story
is full of redeeming, positive messages and values. The PTC gives this film an
over-all green rating.
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