“You and your wife, you don’t have children, do you?” Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly (Tootsie Duvall) coyly asks Prez (Jim True-Frost) after he strenuously objects to the promotion of Dukie (Jermaine Crawford) to high school. “Not yet, no,” Prez admits. “Well, have some,” she advises.
Prez, a first-year math teacher, has lavished attention on Dukie, providing him with showers, clean laundry, and lunch, none of which he gets in a home with the utilities shut off. Ms. Donnelly, though sympathetic to his impulse, lays out the practical boundaries of their mission. “You do your piece with them and you let them go, because there’ll be plenty more coming up behind Duquan.” Over lunch, Prez gamely tries to convince a dejected Dukie that he’s ready for the next level, offering continued access to the middle school’s showers and the class computer Dukie’s had to himself for a special project, but they both know his departure marks the end of the arrangement.