Maddox, bright but disenchanted, creative yet restless, views school as confining, even oppressive. He goes so far as to compare its environment to that of an asylum, with the students viewed as inmates. Looking for every chance to challenge the school's authority, he sees an opportunity when he discovers that a former student had rebelled against the same educators a few years before. That young man, Stanton, was institutionalized after being expelled from New Port South in his senior year. He has since escaped from the asylum. Inspired by Stanton's actions, Maddox enlists a group of students to revolt against their educators in a solemn attempt to change school policy and curriculum. Maddox begins distributing propaganda throughout the school and captures the entire student body.