Eric and Annie selfishly expect the kids to start the school-year on routine so they can enjoy a lazy day alone incommunicado, but ill-prepared means in trouble.
Meanwhile, Nazi-style principal Russel has plenty of collaborating staff to enforce draconian discipline for 'gang and drug offenses' according to absurd new rules non saw coming, such as Simon's cutlery earning a suspension for 'concealed weapons'.
Elswhere, Mary is happy with an ex-Olympic new basketball coach Koper, who meanwhile terrorizes Matt on account of the beeper Eric forgot when he borrowed the good boy's jacket again.
To continue, Simon's buddy system only helps against a potential bully.
Also, Lucy makes her own life paranoid hell while Mary rudely fails to work in new kid Mark 'Marcus', a natural flirt.
While this is going on, the whole school buzzes about Lucy's classmate Peter McKinley's apparent suicide attempt.
And finally, in fact Eric, called in by the police, discovers it's a desperate cry for help after 13 years of deaf tyranny from his insensitive, clueless single mother.