Movie theaters in the Paterson, N.J., area were sold out several weekends ago, when they offered sneak previews of "Lean On Me," a film about Joe Clark.
The film depicts the principal's controversial efforts to improve troubled Eastside High School.
Mr. Clark, who is portrayed in the film by actor Morgan Freeman, says he has not let fame go to his head. "I understand success and failure are imposters, and I take them both lightly," he told reporters.
Nor does he expect a financial windfall from "Lean on Me," which he predicts will yield him only "a pittance." The film's nationwide premiere is scheduled for early next month.
Steve Knight, a Maine teacher, and 18 of his students were scheduled to leave this week for Vietnam, on what is believed to be the the first trip to that country by a group of American public-school students.
A teacher at Lawrence High School in Fairfield, Mr. Knight organized the 17-day trip as the culmination of an independent course entitled ''Vietnam Learning Group," which drew participants from five local high schools.
The travelers, who underwrote some of the $2,300 per-person cost of the trip through fundraising, will begin their tour of Vietnam in Hanoi and proceed south to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Along the way, said Mr. Knight, the group will visit schools, museums, underground tunnels left by the Viet Cong, and a hospital where victims of the herbicide "Agent Orange" receive treatment.
But the most satisfying part of the trip, said Mr. Knight, will be the opportunities to "meet and interact with Vietnamese people, who are very interested in meeting Americans."