Is public school really like they portray it in the movies?

Due to the fact I never went to public school I have a warped perspective of what its really like. Like most folks who went to yeshiva high school, our visions of what its like to attend public school are based on the movies we see which always seem a little over the top.

Based on movies such as American Pie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Ten Things I Hate About You, I think that public high school looks like a scary world if you aren’t cool. Cool is relative, but I wouldn’t be too cool since I suck at team sports- are the jocks really that cool? Are they really such assholes? Do the nerds all sit together at the cafeteria? Are the lunch rooms really like that with everyone picking their table based on social status? Are there really that many hot nerds? What about the parties, are they really that cool?

It seems that I am completely clueless. My only experience with public school was one summer when I failed math and had to go to summer school. I went to Murry Burgtram school which you can see when you exit the Brooklyn Bridge onto the FDR, it’s a red brick building and it was scary my first few times. The bathrooms had no stalls, they searched you when you came in and I was the only white kid- besides for a smattering of white looking Latinos- it was an interesting and frightening experience- but nothing like the movies save for Dangerous Minds or something of the sort.

I know I have tons of readers who went to public school can you tell me if anything from the movies is real?