The tough education professional who wields a baseball bat to bring order to a troubled school has become something of a trope. I'm wondering what the first appearance was.

Morgan Freeman depicted the archetype in Lean on Me (1989), but Jim Belushi depicted the archetype in The Principal (1987), co-starring with Lou Gosset, Jr. and Rae Dawn Chong:

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There was an 1982 exploitation film The Class of 1984 that may have set the precedent for the two subsequent films, but I can't recall if the teacher in that film used a baseball bat specifically (this movie poster suggests a lead pipe and blowtorch, but many melee weapons were employed in the movie, and the iconic nature of the baseball bat wielding educational professional had not yet been established...)

  • Was Belushi's the first depiction of this archetype, or is there an earlier example?

Question amended to "bat wielding" to allow for cricket bats.

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    Do you classify a cricket paddle as a bat? (in essence, it's a cricket bat. The baseball bat may be an Americanisation of an earlier British trope) Or are you looking for a baseball bat specifically? – Flater Oct 5 '17 at 11:05
  • @Flater Great point and cricket paddle answers are definitely welcome. (It's really the Herculean archetype of the "club hero". Spinal Tap has an iconic cricket paddle scene, and I think anyone interested in this question would appreciate hearing more about that part of the tradition.) This question was intended to be about Americana, but if there's a legit precedent, I will vote for it! – DukeZhou Oct 5 '17 at 17:11

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