Another school year is off to a booming start at Winslow High School -- an urban high school outside of Boston. Principal Steven Harper spends his days putting out fires, defending his faculty and just trying to keep it together. Lauren Davis, the idealistic head of the social studies department, and Harry Senate, a geology teacher with buried secrets, are embroiled in controversy for failing the star running back before a huge game with the cross-town rivals. But they both have bigger personal problems. Lauren has been asked out on a date by the icy vice principal and Harry has been put on probation for wielding a gun in one of his classes. When he's not dodging the star running back's lawyer or pulling a bully off the class geek, Principal Harper is trying to calm Ms. Hendricks. She left her class after scrawling ""Gone to kill myself, hope you're happy"" on the chalkboard. Meanwhile, English teacher Milton Buttle has become the star attraction on student Sheryl Holt's Web site. His un
Last week's bra protest has resulted in school unity. All the girls have decided to go braless in a show of solidarity with Dana Poole. As bras flap ceremoniously from every other locker, Principal Harper juggles a variety of other issues. The superintendent is breathing down Harper's neck because Lauren has rallied a few of the other teachers and they all refuse to get fingerprinted. Also, Marla, who's supposed to be on medical leave, has shown up for work, and Lipschultz, the man behind the bra debacle, has shown up on Sheryl Holt's infamous Web site -- in a bra and panties! Harper decides the two of them will co-teach a class in order to keep an eye on each other. Meanwhile, Vice Principal Guber tries to regain control by meeting with Dana Poole. He suspects that she's high, so he wants a urine sample. She protests and bolts straight to Harry -- whom she blackmails for the second time in order to avoid suspension. It seems that earlier in the year she and Senate shared a kiss, and s
Principal Harper's job is in jeopardy and an impending school board meeting has him on edge. Still, he can't help but get involved when Anthony Ward is found hanging upside down from the roof. It turns out the entire soccer team has ganged up on little Anthony since he thwarted their attempts to download answers for a test. Harper's decision to suspend the entire team, and thereby forfeit the soccer season, only adds fuel to Superintendent Marla Shinn's fire. Meanwhile, Harry Senate confesses to kissing Dana Poole and explains her blackmail scheme. Guber sends a shocked Dana to Bob ""Big Boy"" Lick for counseling but Harper does not suspend Senate. Coach Riley, on the other hand, is dealing with a football team who has marked one of their teammates as gay and will not shower with him. Plus, Lauren is left to defend herself when Superintendent Shinn questions the topic of cannibalism being taught in Lauren's classroom. At the school board meeting, things come to a head when all of the fa
Rehearsals are in full swing for the annual charity show. Marilyn is dismayed to learn that the main skit the students have prepared is a spoof of the Winslow High faculty -- complete with a gun-toting Senate and Buttle stuck inside a donkey! Elsewhere on campus, Lauren enters a stairwell and catches two student body presidential candidates engaged in a sex act. Lauren confronts the students -- Peter and Susan -- who deny any wrongdoing. However, when Peter later drops out of the election, it becomes clear that Susan's sexual favor was a motivating factor. On top of all this, Lauren must also deal with John LeBlonde. John's an excellent student on the recently suspended soccer team and needs Harper's approval to apply for a prestigious academic award. Harper is refusing to sign, not because John cheated -- he didn't -- but because he failed to report his teammates. Lauren is caught in the middle and is even more uncomfortable when John confesses that he is in love with her. The night o
It's Thanksgiving week, but no one seems particularly grateful. Guber, for example, is still upset over his onstage serenade at the charity show. Football player Jason Harrelson broke bully Malcolm White's arm during a fight in the hall. Buttle is starring in yet another Sheryl Holt original online humiliation cartoon. Last, but not least, Lauren discovered a senior sex posse which awards senior guys points for sex. In response to the sex posse scandal, Principal Harper organizes a sophomore assembly to preach the benefits of chastity. The teachers draw straws, and Lipschultz is chosen to head up the event. Later at the assembly, Lipschultz' boring speech turns shocking when he confesses to catching his beloved late wife in bed with another man. In his office, Harper confronts Jason Harrelson about the fight. Harrelson says he used a fighting technique that Harper taught Anthony in order to defend Anthony's honor. Repercussions ensue -- including a lawsuit by Malcolm's family and a con
A popular and beloved teacher, Mr. McMahon, has a heart attack and dies at school. A close friend of the deceased, Principal Harper overcomes his own grief to help his students cope with the loss. To make matters worse, it appears that McMahon had been having an affair with a female senior, Karen Fitzgerald. While Harper struggles to deal with the incident's aftermath and maintain status quo, the students and faculty begin to fall apart. A defiant pupil, Webster, spits on Lauren and she vows to have him expelled. The case becomes more complex, however, when Harper learns that Webster was close to Mr. McMahon and is extremely upset over his death. A disciplinary hearing is held and it's decided that Webster will only be suspended, much to Lauren's disgust. Meanwhile, the distraught students hold an assembly to deal with their confusion. The kids quickly embrace God as the answer and their meeting turns into a mass prayer rally. Eventually, Harper and Guber look into McMahon's alleged af
Life seems to be one big lawsuit for Principal Harper. First, Mrs. Walsh, who was fired for spanking her students, sues for wrongful termination. Then, after Harper suspends Sheryl Holt for offensive content on her Web site, she sues to get the suspension overturned. Guber's brother, George, is representing Winslow High, but can't seem to defend himself against Guber. George set Guber up on a blind date with a touchy-feely masseuse, only for Guber to discover (mid-massage) that she's a call girl! Lauren isn't much luckier in love. Things are going well with Senate, but holt45.com has exclusive footage of them making out. Seems Sheryl wanted some retaliation for her suspension. Plus, Lauren gets knocked out by a launched breast implant. A female student had implant samples in her locker and her boyfriend thought it would be funny to launch one. Lauren was in the wrong hallway at the wrong time, and has the black eye to prove it. While Marylin counsels the girl on her self-image, Lauren
Buttle encounters a beautiful college sophomore, Lisa, who shares his passion for Shakespeare. Intrigued by his knowledge of the bard, Lisa decides to sleep with Buttle and the two engage in an afternoon of earth-shattering sex. Back at Winslow High, Senate learns that Juan Figgis' mother has been convicted on drug charges and is going to jail. Determined to provide for his family, Juan ignores Senate's pleas to finish his education and drops out of school to support them. Meanwhile, Lipschultz collapses in class and is rushed to the hospital. A student, Kelly O'Toole, comes forward and confesses that she slipped ecstasy into his coffee as a joke. Harper decides to play hardball - he calls the cops, who take Kelly away in handcuffs, and then proceed to search the lockers. Senate struggles to do the right thing concerning Juan and calls Social Services, who break up the family. Realizing that he did more damage than good, Senate begins a foundation to raise money to keep Figgis in schoo
The first day back at school has barely begun when the police show up looking for a murder suspect. A botched robbery has gone down a few blocks away and the panicked assailant, wearing a Winslow High letterman's jacket, shot and killed a man before heading towards school grounds. The police think the suspect is a student who is hiding on campus and demand to begin the search at once. Meanwhile, oblivious to the tense situation, Lisa and Buttle decide to have sex in the deserted boiler room. Unfortunately, Riley and an officer stumble upon the couple during the investigation and catch them in the act. Riley agrees to keep quiet about the affair for now, but urges Buttle to break it off before he loses his jobâ€¦or worse. As the hunt continues, it becomes a code red condition, locking both teachers and students in their classrooms. Eventually, Lauren realizes that a pupil in her class might be the suspect but before she can take action, the desperate student whips out his gun and takes La
Sheryl Holt breaks the news about Milton and Lisa's secret affair on her Web site. Suspicious, Harper confronts Buttle about his sexual involvement, but Milton disavows any wrongdoing, claiming that he and Lisa have started a ""Shakespeare Club."" Concerned about his friend, Riley decides to keep quiet for now, but begs Buttle to stop seeing his new ""girlfriend."" However, Riley has his hands full with another explosive situation - an anonymous bully has severely beaten three male students. When he discovers that the bully is actually an extremely overweight girl who was only defending herself from relentless verbal abuse, he enlists her for the wrestling squad. After enduring further derision, she defeats her opponent at her first match and earns the respect of her teammates and family. Meanwhile, Marylin suspects that a girl in her class is a victim of incest when the student writes a ""fictional"" essay about her father molesting her. Although her pupil denies it, Marylin alerts Big Boy
Coach Riley has a serious crush on Marylin Sudor but is nervous about asking her out due to their racial differences. But when he and Buttle ask Ms. Sudor how she and Ms. Hendricks feel about dating white men, Marylin mistakenly assumes Coach wants to ask Marla out. Riley's ""infatuation"" with Marla appears on Sheryl Holt's Web site and Ms. Hendricks becomes extremely excited about the prospect of dating Coach. Eventually, Kevin tells Marylin the truth and she is forced to break the news to Marla, who is deeply hurt. While Kevin and Marylin do make plans to eventually go out, they decide to wait until Marla has gotten over her disappointment. Meanwhile, Harper is concerned about the cheerleading squad. They have been rehearsing for an important competition, but their new routine is extremely sexual. The choreographer argues that it's impossible to tone down the program, so Harper cancels the meet. Regardless of the consequences, Lisa and Buttle continue to tempt fate and continue their
As Senate approaches the school grounds, he saves a student from being attacked by gang members. After numerous attempts, Harry finally manages to get the boy to reveal that he is a member of the Crips and is attempting to leave the group because he killed a rival gang member. However, Senate is unable to help because he gave his word that he wouldn't discuss the situation with the authorities. Prevented from taking action, he reluctantly hides the truth from Lauren, his co-workers and the police. Meanwhile, Harper grows even more suspicious about Lisa and Buttle's deepening friendship, so Guber takes the reins and alerts Lisa's parents about their daughter's rumored affair. Thoroughly panicked, Milton tries to break it off, but Lisa pushes him to have sex one last time and her father catches them in the act. Buttle is immediately fired and the news rocks the halls of Winslow High. But when Riley attempts to soften the blow for Milton, Guber fires him as well for withholding informatio
Unconscious and in critical need of blood, Rebecca's fate is left to a higher power when her mother refuses to allow a transfusion because of the family's religious beliefs. Bobby is awestruck when Lindsay gives birth to their son a month early. courtesy of ABC.com
When Coach Riley is fired for withholding information about Buttle's affair, he hires the best attorneys in Boston - Ellenor Frutt and Jimmy Berluti. Ellenor immediately begins subpoenaing witnesses, sending a message to Winslow High that she means business. And in an effort to take Guber down, Coach Riley helps her play hardball by supplying incriminating evidence against numerous co-workers. The stress of the lawsuit has Guber and Harper at each other's throats. Harper is angry over Guber's predilection for firing teachers without consulting with him first and Guber dislikes doing the ""dirty work"" for Harper. The two have several yelling matches with no clear victor before their lawyer asks them to grow up and focus on the upcoming trial. Meanwhile, Lauren discovers that Harry had dated another co-worker, Jenna, before her. Disturbed that Harry would have a relationship with a woman Lauren deems unsavory, she becomes concerned about her own relationship with Senate. Although Harry tr
Lauren finds Harry hasn't told his friend about her. Six teachers resign and Marla must teach a class she doesn't know how to. Scott wins a contest to be a guest conductor and asks Marilyn out when she is too nice to him. Steven and Harry look for a missing teacher.
Harry advises Tyronn to leave town when he is shot at. Harvey sends Scott on a two-hour drive for a non-existing conducting opportunity. A student accuses the cheerleading teacher of touching her in inappropriate ways.
Security tapes of the girls' shower room are missing... with footage of Lauren on them. Marla sends her entire class to the principal's office. Anthony's hit list is found. Lauren and Harry break up.
A student's mother complains about bus fumes to Steven. The tape of Lauren showering ends up on Sheryl Holt's webpage. Harry gets in trouble for knowing Tyronn was a murderer. Scott becomes Lisa Grier's co-teacher for her Shakespearre class.
Scott fires an art teacher twice. Christine Banks dies of a heart attack after winning a wrestling match. Harry finds out Dana Poole has become a stripper. Marla insults janitors and she finds one of her student's father is a janitor.
While heading to work, Lauren's car breaks downs. She gets so frustrated with it that she starts jumping up and down on it and smashing the windows with a baseball bat. Suddenly, an old student of hers appears named Daniel Evans who thanks her for changing his life. He shows her a history text book he has written and she is very impressed. He asks her out for a drink, and she immediately says yes. After, they head to her place and have a night of passion. The next day she tells Marilyn, who finds it a little immoral. Lauren cannot get past how great the sex was. Lauren admits she finds it a total turn on when Daniel calls her Ms. Davis. Marilyn is dealing with a boy named Jeremy who throws up after an anxiety attack related to his mom not being able to accept his mark of a B+. He goes to the nurse, where Marilyn notices a huge bruise on him. He says he got it playing basketball. When Jeremy's mom shows up, she says he must of got it on his scooter. Marilyn suspects abuse.
Lauren continues her realtionship with Daniel. Marilyn finds out that Jeremy's mother is locking her son in the basement for punishment. Steven can't date a student's mother. Kevin punches an opponent ina debate.
Steven's remarks prevent Scott from getting a job as a headmaster. Lauren finds out Daniel is stalking her. Marla worries when a convicted sex offender asks a younger girl to the senior prom. Marilyn suspects Jeremy has done something to his mother.
Lauren gets a gun to protect herself from Daniel. Jeremy won't tell Marilyn what happened to his mother. Scott gives Winslow High's first student to get accepted to Harvard an F.
A wealthy attorney decides to become a teacher at the schoolâ€”quickly stirring things up between her fellow teachers and the students. Meanwhile, Lipshultz gets into trouble after giving a student the wrong name and Marla is enlisted to sponsor a club of female students, which causes her to examine her own insecurity.
Ronnie's career at Winslow High gets off to a precarious start when Guber sees her in a compromising position. Meanwhile, Lauren tries to help a straight-A student get into Princeton, but Harper wants to transfer the student to a continuation school because she is pregnant. Also Mrs. Peters, looking very different, volunteers as a teacher's assistant at Winslow.
Senate is outraged when he learns that one of his prized students was admitted to Williams College because he bought his college application essay over the Internet. Also, Lipschultz calls a student a derogatory term and new teacher Danny Hanson wants him held accountable, but Harper refuses. Hanson goes to Ronnie for legal help, and his class decides to sue Lipschultz in court for defamation of character.
Harper's headstrong daughter Brooke enrolls at Winslow High after she is kicked out of private school. Meanwhile, when Ronnie is disappointed that her class is not learning Shakespeare, her ex-suitor Matthew Baskin, who continues to pursue her, offers a unique way to reach her and her students.
Hanson is arrested after a domestic dispute, causing Harper to seriously consider firing him. Lauren is skeptical when a student decides to drop out because a record company wants to sign her, and Harper is livid when he discovers that someone close to him has been anonymously dispensing sex advice in the student newspaper.
A statutory-rape case entangles Ronnie with the enraged parents of the 15-year-old victim; an illicit-drug situation embroils Harper with his unsettled daughter
Tidings of comfort and joy gladden this Christmas episode, which, true to the series, also has its share of heartaches and crises. The main storyline centers on the holiday hopes of principal Harper's teenage daughter, Brooke, who's anxious for a reconciliation between her divorced mom and dad. In other developments, Guber and Mrs. Peters shop together for a special Christmas present; Marylin, Marla and Louisa form a musical trio at the school pageant; and Senate gets caught up in the plight of a sensitive youth who he thinks may be suicidal.
A revelation concerning Jeremy fractures the relationship between his mother and Guber; a plea from a death-row inmate troubles Harper; a student's ADD affliction disquiets Ronnie.
Tensions escalate among Meredith, Jeremy and Guber, who seek family counseling; controversy swirls around a student's class-project photo and a speech by Lipschultz.
Lauren asks Guber to go to a concert with her on the night of his three-month anniversary with Meredith and he accepts. Which causes Meredith to be extremely angry. Danny is having problems with religion in school. One of Ronnie's students attempts suicide and is pregnant because of a sex crime after she is pregnated for the purpose of having the child for her parents. Harvey moves onto the state finals with his speech and places in the top three.
Ronnie and Danny discover that Brooke is dating a 27 year old man and report it to Steven. Steven is outraged at this discovery and demands Brooke stop seeing him. She disagrees at first but the next morning, her boyfriend Rupert reports to Steven that the two have broken up. Brooke later debates leaving Winslow High but Steven convinces her not to.After Harry getting sick of his students being considered dumb, he challenges Guber to a debate in preperation for a big upcoming debate for Scott's debate team. He accepts and the two teams practice to no end. When it comes debate time, both teams deliver but Scott's team comes out victourious but only by three points.
The faculty decide to have a staff talent show to lighten the mood at Winslow. Lipschultz asks Ronnie to sing a duet with him at the talent show but she convinces him that Marylin is just waiting to be asked. Meanwhile Danny befriends one of his Cerebral Palsey kids and arranges for him to attend Winslow. The mood is severely challenged when a student finds a notebook with plans for a bombing and shooting spree at Winslow
A student's illness rattles Senate, who's haunted by feelings of futility; a teen's eating disorder upsets Lauren, who's also unnerved by an web site advocating anorexia.
Seven teenagers, including Zack, are killed in a drunk driving accident and the students and teachers, both, must face their grief. Ronnie takes it especially hard having been close with Zack. Brooke's best friend was also killed in the accident. Meanwhile, Harvey tries to convince the students that he was George Washington in a previous life.
Controversy swirls at Winslow over a reviled racial epithet, which becomes a heated subject of debate in a class taught by the provocative Danny Hanson, who fans the flames by alleging a double standard. ""Clearly,"" he tells his students, ""people seem OK with Chris Rock using the word...But if Garry Shandling did...you'd all be sick."" Word gets to Harper, who calls upon Hanson to cease the discussion because ""the word stirs up too much hate."" But when the teacher persists, the principal trumps him. ""Do you think you understand n----r, Danny? Do you think you really get it?""
Mikki, an 18-year-old Winslow student, tricks Harper and the administration into allowing Barely 18, a racy Maxim-like magazine to come to the school to shoot provocative photos of her. Ronnie, who stumbles upon the shoot, pleads with Mikki not to pose for the magazine, saying it is a decision she will regret for the rest of her life. Ronnie confides in Mikki that she was approached in college to pose for a pictorial, but thankfully decided against it. Later, Ronnie reveals to Senate that she actually went through with the shoot, but the photos were never published. Ronnie and Senate share a moment, but nothing materializes from it. Meanwhile, back at school, a student approaches Guber with information that Meredith hit her with her prosthesis during an argument. After some investigating, Guber reluctantly admits that he believes the student and fires Meredith. As a result, Guber and Meredith's relationship seems to be terminated as well. Also at the school, one of Lauren's students ha
Ronnie catches a student performing a crime; two female students tell Marylin about their sexual conversations online with an older man.
Dana Poole returns to Winslow High as a mature, sexy, college freshman looking to spend time with Senate for a class project. Meanwhile, Lipschultz gets a visit from a 58-year-old man who says he's his son, and Hanson is accused of giving special treatment to Debbie.
Ronnie puts together a surprise birthday party for Senate but her good intentions quickly turns into chaos when all the guests resort to bickering and nitpicking at each other. Among the sparks at the party, Lipschultz snoops into Harper's briefcase and reveals his application for headmaster at an opposing school, while Lauren and Scott grow closer together as she has her own issues after being called a perfectionist.
As the prom approaches, female students outrage the faculty when they auction themselves as dates, while Harper deals with angry students who oppose his allowing a gay student to compete for the queen's crown.
Lauren and Marilyn investigate a student who seems to be eating her own hair. Danny is discovered having sent letters home to the ""over-weight"" girls in his class after he is punched a girl who receives one of these letters. Marla goes to Steven and Scott about this issue, asking that he be fired. Meanwhile, Scott and Steven are continuing to have personality conflicts regarding leadership. Jamal Crenshaw's brother, Amaad, murders a store clerk and soon after, Jamal confides in Harry. Harry takes it to Ronnie, a past lawyer, who believes that Jamal's best bet is to turn himself in. However, when he doesn't; Harry and Ronnie do. Later on, Amaad comes to visit Harry at Winslow High and when things get out of hand, Harry calls the police. But before he can give them any details, he is stabbed by Amaad; three times.
Staff and students at Winslow High struggle to get on with their lives after a number of tragic events.
A new year arrives at Winslow High and new tensions immediately arise. Brooke is caught in the middle when a group of students plan a walkout because the administration has been unable to handle crucial issues such as toxic mold in the bathrooms and overcrowded classrooms. Harper and Guber try to talk to the students, but the students see it as another weak attempt to appease them. And when the students stage the walkout, a riot quickly ensues. Meanwhile, Marla finds a newborn baby in the toilet and discovers that her student Amy had just given birth and left the baby in the bathroom. Amy insists that she wanted her baby and was coming back to get her. Marla rationalizes that Amy was in shock and was coming back immediately. To protect Amy, Marla tells the police that her baby was on the floor. This prompts Danny, who is highly suspicious, to tell Harper and Guber, who are then forced to notify the authorities that evening. Senate runs into his student, Trina, while taking a drive in R
Temporary synopsis from TV Guide: Harsh echoes resound from the student riot; the Danny-Marla confrontations lead to racist allegations against her; a drug deal entraps one of Guber's prized pupils.
Temporary synopsis from TV Guide: Misconduct charges target Guber, who's up against a new superintendent; race issues fester between Marla and Danny; reckless student driving sparks reproach.
A sex scandal among teens rocks Winslow and prompts a mock trial of the accused instigator, a clean-cut senior who's defended, prosecuted and judged by his peers.
Senate's erratic behavior rattles Ronnie and prompts a telling showdown with Harper; pupil misconduct provokes a new teacher, whose youth belies grit.
Violence and compassion commingle in this insightful episode. In the main plot, a rebellious, Irish-American teen squares off against an offended, African-American classmate in a racially incited brawl that distresses their caring teacher and leads to a more contentious fray with principal Harper. In other storylines, Winslow teachers undergo peer evaluations where Ronnie reluctantly grades Zach, with whom she has a somewhat romantic involvement; and Marla seeks to arrange medical help for a hearing-impaired student, whose parents aren't receptive.
A jailed Harper faces a manslaughter charge in the death of a student's father; a rebellious teen receives unsolicited help from Hanson, who uncovers the youth's dark secret.
This holiday episode is enriched by dramatic confrontations, romantic complications and poignant reconciliations. For openers, the tense situation in a previous installment involving a parish priest and an altar boy yields a startling revelation from Hanson. In other storylines, Guber and Marylin are partnered in an off-campus dance class; Ronnie and Zach are increasingly frustrated in their zealous search for a secret trysting place; and Lipschultz is predictably discomforted---especially by an invitation to attend his black son's family gathering on Christmas Day.
A teen's pregnancy sensitizes Guber; a gang slaying deeply affects Kimberly and her prize student; romantic liaisons have differing impacts on Ronnie and Hanson.
Anne Archer plays willful and sultry Patricia Emerson, whose daughter Becky is a student in an English class taught by Colin Flynn. At a home-tutoring session for Becky, Mrs. Emerson comes on to Flynn. It's an attempted seduction that really heats up when Emerson---who says she's related to the poet-essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson---begins interpreting Emily Dickinson's ""The Sea"" for him as a poem rich in sexual metaphors. Elsewhere, Winslow's basketball coach denies charges that he illegally recruited a star player---who's enamored of Harper's daughter.
Moral and ethical dilemmas surround Flynn's adulterous affair; the college recruitment of Winslow's basketball star; and the plight of a pregnant teen.
Guber's speech team star has an issue, Russell decides on a college, while mixed signals rattle Colin as his affair comes to a close.
Valentine's Day marks the arrival of Guber's watchful mother; awakens a troubled coed's feelings for Kimberly; and trifles with romances among Winslow faculty members.
American Idol songbird Tamyra Gray, who lost the competition but won the hearts of TV audiences, makes her TV dramatic debut. Gray plays a shy Winslow student named Aisha, whose solo in an empty study hall overwhelms Marylin. So she persuades Aisha to audition for the upcoming school musical. The tryout's a disaster, but, thanks to Marylin's confidence-building, Aisha gets another shot. In other storylines, the battering of a gay teen prompts Guber to take a stand for tolerance; and a quickening crush on a fellow student ruffles a schoolgirl genius---who's 12.
Anxiety besets Winslow staffers, scrutinized by the mayor's spy; a teacher's sex scandal is grist for the mill of student TV-journalists; boyfriend-related tensions affect school-musical star Aisha.
Emotional Marla imperils a promotion; rattled Hanson tends to a 4-year-old niece; conflicted Aisha (Tamyra Gray), recast in the school musical, confronts her jealous boyfriend.
Tensions surface over Ronnie's new post; Aisha's participation in the school musical and her relationship with J.T.; Harvey's required recertification; and Danny's care for his niece.
Courtroom drama energizes Ronnie, who's defending two teens in a murder arraignment; high test scores by poor students prompt Guber's undercover investigation.
Sudden fame heartens Ronnie, credited for high exam scores posted at Winslow, yet she's also facing a romantic crisis with Zach; a student-council election tests a shy, awkward teen.
Aisha (Gray) is shocked when her father, a one-time famous musician but now an alcoholic, makes a surprise visit to Winslow High. He is seriously ill and leaves Aisha a tattered song manuscript. She puts words to the melody, which becomes her rendition of ""Dance With My Father"" (Luther Vandross' biographical song to be released in June). Meanwhile, motherhood troubles Marcie, who's taking a parental-training course, and fears for his niece's welfare preoccupy Danny, whose sister is still using drugs.
Hanson, looking for a way to increase his chances in adopting his niece, makes a sudden proposal to Claire (Missy Yager). Meanwhile, Guber challenges a student (rap star GQ guest stars) who wants to use rap music to show why Shakespeare ""sucks""; and Marilyn doesn't trust a record producer (hip-hop star/actor Method Man guest stars) who's pushing to sign Aisha to a recording deal. Also of note for this episode, the band Lifehouse (""Hanging by a Moment"") will perform at Doyle's Bar.
When a student writes a letter to Whitney Houston asking her to attend the prom with him, faculty and students are amazed that she accepts. Houston's attendance at the prom causes Aisha, who is set to perfrom, to get stage fright. Meanwhile, Harper presents a radical way to prevent the firing of teachers for budget reasons; and Danny asks Claire's father's permission to marry her.
Ronnie witnesses an attempted rape, then receives a shock when she presses for legal action on behalf of the victim (guest star Amanda Fuller); Hanson tries to prevent a student from being expelled for drugs.
After a cheerleader is attacked, blame falls on another student's mother (Sean Young); Carmen goes head to head with a ""bad boy"" student (Milo Ventigmilia); Hansen copes with a student who says he is the son of God.
A female student files a serious sexual-harassment charge against Danny; a classroom debate over the U.S. involvement in Iraq turns violent; the tension between Harper and Guber over Marylin reaches the boiling point.
An enraged student slaps Marla's face in front of the class, and Marla slaps her back; Hanson discovers Allison behaves like a bully at school; Carmen asks Harper to remove Jake from her class.
An investment banker, convicted of securities fraud, avoids jail time by agreeing to community service: teaching math at Winslow High. A sexy and eccentric woman smashes into Guber's car and then crashes her way into his life.
A student discovers Harper and Marilyn have been secretly dating and threatens to go to the school board; Hanson and Claire try to assist a student who is having trouble with his dad.
Charlie Bixby (Dennis Miller) takes an unconventional approach when volunteering at a teen hotline; Marla decides to try in vitro fertilization and asks Harper to be the donor; Carmen reveals a secret from her past.
Harper decides to call the FBI when he learns that a student has been accessing a terrorist recruitment web site from the school library; Ronnie learns that one of her students has HIV.
Guber discovers the high-school drum line's freshman hazing involves physical abuse; a student-produced TV documentary about Ronnie worries her; a father is sentenced to being handcuffed to his son for a week.
Guber contends with a student who thinks he is Jesus and is using school funds to feed the homeless; Marla mistakenly books R.E.M. for a school fund-raiser.
An overachieving student sues the school when she has to share presidency of the honor society with a black student in a wheelchair; Marlo begins her in-vitro process.
Views on affirmative action divide the students; the teachers hope to quell the resulting tensions by debating the subject in front of the student body.
Henry gives bad advice to a brainiac student who wants to become an artist; Marla has a miscarriage; Rainy is thrown out of her foster home.
A former student of Winslow High dies in Iraq while serving the U.S. Army. Principal Harper receives a letter from the deceased student which brings back old memories back to the days when he took care of him and pulled him away from a life in the gutter. Danny Hanson struggles with a student in his class who's been hacking into the school's computer base; finding out about the teachers' private lives and upcoming tests.
Ronnie catches a male teacher hugging a female student; Hanson worries that he may be a control freak following an incident in his Drivers' Education class; several students are caught photographing themselves nude with only words written across their bodies.