As a veteran comes back to the United States after a mission doesn't go as planned, he decides to surprise his girlfriend. The man's girlfriend, Jane, welcomes him home, but there are a few surprises in store for Shale. Jane has a stressful job at times, as she is a teacher at one of the roughest schools in the city. There are gangs and violence among the students, and she seems to be at a loss for how to handle all of the commotion.
Shale wants to make a difference, so he decides to see for himself just how unruly the kids are at the school. He tries to use corporal punishment but is told not to by the principal. However, he does make a connection with some of the students when he talks with them about what he experienced in Vietnam. After an attack on Jane and an investigation, Shale finds that things aren't really what they seem at the school or at home.