Billie is a Native American student, new to Whitman High, befriended by Jason. Mr. Dixon's class is studying Indian treatment and Billie is sensitive to anything calling attention to his heritage, lashing out at classmates.
Liz McIntyre has two students needing guidance. Craig feels unable to live up to his family's academic achievements and become a minister while Judy acts out in anger over her home life. A chance meeting cutting class helps both of them.
Alice Johnson meets an older man who is a new American citizen and has firm ideas concerning the display of the US flag. When a student art exhibit uses the flag, he vandalizes it then tries to explain why.
Veteran teacher Vivian Higgins answers student Joe Bob honestly when he has questions regarding sexually transmitted diseases. That angers his father and is against school policy which could cost Miss Higgins her job.
Andrea has moved around as a student and she immediately stands out at Whitman by claiming mystical powers. Her classmates are either intrigued or bothered and Miss Johnson tries to convince her that she doesn't need a gimmick.
Donnie is the outstanding swimmer at Whitman's but decides to quit because he wants time for other things. His father Sid reacts badly and blames Pete. Donnie joins too many groups and finds new pressures.
A series of thefts at school concerns the staff and Pete thinks he knows the culprit. Then they catch Jimmie red handed and find his home life is the cause. Mr. Kaufman hopes to have a day that nothing occurs like one January 15th.
Tommy Burns and Jason are working on a school project but at Tommy's home Jason is racially insulted by the father. Mr. Burns insists the boys not work together and Tommy learns it's time to stand up against his prejudiced dad.
Jason comes up with a fund raising idea but the arrival of Marshall, a polished student from England gets his classmates's attention. Marshall takes over the carnival project which Jason resents and he lashes out.
Mr. Kaufman puts popular science teacher Mr. Galvez up for a different position and a background check reveals he has no degree. After resigning the Whitman students, led by Joe, try to get their favorite instructor his job back.
Pete Dixon teams with pilot Fred to help at risk students but Principal Kaufman has his doubts. It particularly works for almost drop out Eddie who is angered when administrator Cramer has no funds available for it's continuance.
Herbie has come up with another scheme, this one involving jobs that is tied to eating a record number of bananas. Kaufman has his doubts but Miss McIntyre is encouraging. The media shows up turning it into an event.
Otis is a new student at Whitman who has spent years in foster care and now lives with Mrs. Fowler. Miss Johnson learns he has a brilliant mind but reads at a 4th grade level. She tries to get him help to improve but he resists.
Frank is a new teacher at Whitman and takes an interest in Alice. She keeps accepting dates with him but finds him dull and doesn't know how to turn him down. Pete, thinking of a principal's job, learns about the paperwork involved.
Stretch is hit by a basketball, breaking his braces, while looking at Phyllis Nichols who is cheerleading braless. The incident leads to an uproar over the school's lack of a dress code and student freedom.