Previously on Boston Public: Nothing happened, apparently. But we do get a warning that tonight's episode will be full of coarse racial slurs, because it's going to explore "the inappropriateness of racial invective." Which is disingenuous, isn't it? It doesn't do the episode credit, I don't think, since the episode is as much about the inappropriateness of knee-jerk reactions to things regardless of context as it is about anything else.
Delineation Alley. Scott finds his way to Ronnie Cooke, and talks to her. He's heard that she's conducting a class project in which, in order to raise awareness about the plight of the homeless, she's having her students sleep in cars in their parents' driveways. This sounds pretty lame to me, but Scott is upset because one student seems to have taken it too far: "Natalie Stone was neither in her home nor in her driveway. She was picked up by the police last night during a sweep, under a bridge in Jamaica Plain." He asks if this was unforeseeable, and Ronnie says that it was, especially because the project ended three days ago.
Meanwhile, in Dick Teachie's classroom, students file in. A hot girl says hi to two friends, Jordan and JT, who are on their way in, and they smile at each other. Jordan's all, "See, I told you she was hot on me." JT counters, "Nigga, please. She was smilin' at me." Jordan's rejoinder is that "she way too fine for a nigga like you." JT is black, by the by, and Jordan is white. Having caught this exchange, another black student, Andre, suggests that they make less free use of that particular word. Jordan assures him that "it's just me and JT. It's cool." Andre shoves Jordan, and is all, "Oh, so, now you're gonna tell me what's cool?" JT tells Andre to chill out, incidentally referring to him as "nigga" in the process. Andre tackles JT. Everybody wrestles on the floor. Dick Teachie appears and breaks it up. "What are you doin'? Huh? Andre? JT? Jordan?" Yeah, we got their names. "I want an answer. What's goin' on?" Andre tells him they were just playing eenie meenie miney moe. Dick Teachie's like, "Whuh?" Andre says, "You know. Catch a nigga by his toe." Which was, in fact, how that rhyme originally went, before being updated to the more innocuous "tiger," which is offensive mainly to tigers and those who protect their toes.
Phat beats and jerky camera movement show us just how gritty and hip Winslow High really is.