Joe Clark is laying down his baseball bat. The cantankerous Paterson, N.J., high school principal, who inspired the movie "Lean on Me" with his get-tough education tactics, is taking a leave of absence and says he may go to work for the Bush administration. Clark's announcement came a day after he finished a five-day suspension that was ordered after students at a school assembly performed a racy dance. Clark, 50, cited stress and family concerns in stepping down, effective with the end of this school year. "My blood pressure is up and my doctor says I'm headed for an early grave if I don't slow down," he said. "They (wife Hazel and their three kids) see me coming home angry every day from fighting a bureaucracy that doesn't care about educating minority youth. It doesn't make for great family relations." Clark says now that his "soul is tired and fatigued" but he may give Washington a try. "The Bush administration has been in contact with me through drug czar William Bennett and we are in preliminary discussions over a position in Washington," he said through a spokesman.