Boston Public is an American drama television series created by David E. Kelley and broadcast on Fox. It centered on Winslow High School, a fictional public high school located in Boston, Massachusetts. The show was named for the real public school district in which it takes place. It featured a large ensemble cast and focused on the work and private lives of the various teachers, students, and administrators at the school. It aired from October 2000 to January 2004. Its slogan was "Every day is a fight. For respect. For dignity. For sanity."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Courtroom drama energizes Ronnie, who's defending two teens in a murder arraignment; high test scores by poor students prompt Guber's undercover investigation.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Senate's erratic behavior rattles Ronnie and prompts a telling showdown with Harper; pupil misconduct provokes a new teacher, whose youth belies grit.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.