Paterson, New Jersey
Strangely, the school is currently more white and less black than I was expecting, and it doesn’t seem to be anything like the heavily black, with a few Hispanics, and hardly any whites, hopeless until Joe Clark came along with his baseball bat dump that it was portrayed to be in the movie.
Just why did Clark leave East Side High?
Ignore that demographic data, because it’s from a school named East Side High in Newark, not Paterson. Great Schools does not seem to have an entry for Paterson’s East Side High, but Wikipedia’s page about the school has demographic data: 55% Hispanic, 43% black, 2% white. That’s more like it.