The film opens with a montage of vintage classroom scenes, overwritten in strained multi-colored cursive writing for the credits... leading us ultimately into the teacher's lounge at John Adams Middle School (JAMS for short), where champagne's being uncorked for an end-of-the-year celebration. The principal, Wally Snur (John Michael Higgins), addresses a motley crew of public school teacher stereotypes: the bearded ex-hippy, the frumpy home-ec teachers, the clearly butch lesbian girls' volleyball coach, etc. Snur congratulates everyone on making it through another year at JAMS, as he calls his middle school. The teachers, with one notable exception, live and breathe the JAMS spirit...clearly taking great joy in being at this particular middle school. Various awards are handed out to the teachers, with a special nod given to Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz), who is leaving the school after one brief year of teaching. Halsey is resplendent in a bright, sunshine-yellow dress, politely receiving the applause of her colleagues, who present her with a parting gift: a $37.00 gift card to the Boston Market take-away restaurants. "Wow, almost $40. Thanks guys", Halsey says, the camera focusing on her enormous diamond engagement ring. She is over the moon happy to be leaving JAMS, where she never even tried to fit in, make friends, or do a good job.
It's then revealed that instead of focusing on being a good teacher, Halsey spent the last year planning her wedding to a very wealthy man. Teaching was just the fallback crutch she relied on while she was waiting to secure a rich husband and work-free future. Halsey is prompted to say a few words of goodbye, and acknowledges that she still knows almost none of the people in the room, because she "was too busy planning the wedding and everything". We see a few shots of Halsey avoiding students in the hallways who were clearly having emotional problems, needing a teacher to turn to for comfort...and shots of Halsey running the other way when teachers' birthday celebrations were happening...as evidence that Halsey went out of her way to avoid being a part of either the students' or her fellow teachers' lives.
Next, Halsey's in a shiny red sports car with the license plate HERS as she speeds out of the school parking lot yelling "See ya, suckers!". She pulls out of the lot backwards, driving unsafely, nearly colliding with a school bus full of students. She drives to a large mansion where she walks into the living room loudly telling her fiance in graphic detail what she is going to do to him sexually. She's stunned to see the man sitting on the couch with his mother. Everything in the room oozes old money. The mother clearly sees Halsey as a gold-digging threat to her son and has convinced him to end his relationship with her because she burned through $16,000 of family money the month before. Halsey claims she doesn't care about the money and will sign a pre-nup if that's what "this is about", but the mother insists she doesn't even know her fiance's birthday. Halsey feigns indignation, but the mother presses forward and says "His birthday is today". Thinking fast on her feet, Halsey reaches into her pocket and says, "I know! That's why I got him this!" and presents the man with the Boston Market gift certificate. The fiance and his mother tell Halsey she needs to leave, and Halsey says "But I'm pregnant", which neither the mother or the fiance believe because it appears the fiance is gay, and it's questionable whether he ever had actual intercourse with Halsey. The fiance gets angry with Halsey and says, "You never really loved me. And I bet you also never appreciated opera!". Halsey is then lectured for not worrying enough about young people's attitudes towards opera, since her fiance is convinced "this great art" will die out if not encouraged to youngsters. Halsey rolls her eyes and begins thinking about what she will do now that she is no longer going to be rich and pampered.
A chalk board announces the movie's jumped ahead three months, which brings us to the first day of class at JAMS. Halsey has indeed returned to the school, since she "can't do anything else but teach". On her first day, the teacher working the classroom directly across the hall (VERY important later) introduces herself to Halsey, since she realizes Halsey paid no attention to her and never bothered to learn her name the year before. She has red hair, a nonstop gratingly cheerful personality, and her name is Amy Squirrel (played by Lucy Punch). Squirrel's classroom is festooned with every teaching aid, streamer, colorful cutout, and motivational saying imaginable...including her desk, which has a colorful bumper sticker on it (VERY important later). Halsey hates her immediately, with Squirrel making a joke about her last name that involves her scrunching her face and pretending to be a rodent. Squirrel happily polishes apples for the desks of all of the students and Halsey asks her if "the students aren't supposed to do that for the teacher". Squirrel says, "Sometimes I learn more from them than they do from me. It's just something I like to say". Halsey takes one of the apples, bites it, looks repulsed, then throws the apple into a wastebasket. She misses and the fruit rolls around on the floor, with Squirrel staring sourly.
Halsey walks across the hall to her own classroom, which is spartan and neglected. Halsey has put no effort at all into being a good teacher, or even preparing a lesson plan for her students. When kids file into the room, Halsey slouches at her desk and appears to be quite hungover or possibly on drugs. A very serious female student tries to score points by walking up and presenting Halsey with a basket of cookies her mother baked for the teacher; Halsey bites into a cookie and pronounces them terrible, clearly crushing the brown-nosing little overachiever. It appears Halsey is supposed to be teaching Social Studies, but that might be news to her. Another little girl in the room, named Chance, is the popular girl that the little boys in the class are lusting after...she is clearly a diminutive version of Halsey herself, talking about getting a kiddie modeling assignment in Kansas City at some point in the future, as the kids talk about what they did over the summer vacation (and Chance appeared to have been in a fashion show of some sort).
Halsey is actually amused when Chance berates a nerdy kid who crushes on her, as well as taking delight in smacking down the brown-nosing girl with the cookies.
Halsey has no money, so she decides to have lunch with a friendless, awkward teacher named Lynn Davies (played by Phyllis Smith from The Office) at a fast food restaurant, where Halsey is so hungry she snatches things off Davies' plate. Halsey talks about her goal of getting an enormous breast augmentation so that she can land another rich husband. In graphic detail, Halsey talks to the demur and clearly embarrassed Davies about breast jobs and how big breasts are what "women like them" need to compete against the endless tide of "fresh talent" that's always cropping up to land the best men out there. Davies pretends to know what Halsey is talking about, and then prods her to hurry so they don't miss the mandatory orientation assembly that Principal Snur is presiding over that day. Halsey tells Davies to be a rebel and skip the orientation, but Davies clearly has trouble breaking any rules and says she will "think about leaving early, maybe, or maybe just staying for the whole thing and not enjoying it".
Later that day, Halsey clearly skipped the orientation and is sitting in the lunch room when Squirrel approaches her, scolding her for not seeing one child smack another with a handful of cole slaw. "Oh, I saw him. That one kid hit the other kid with the cole slaw, and got him really good," Halsey told Squirrel, bored out of her mind in the lunch room. Squirrel tells Halsey that if she had been at the meeting she would have a "boatload" of information about the new school year, including a "quadrant system" that Squirrel designed for lunchroom monitoring. Halsey could not possibly care less about what Squirrel was saying and had no intention of breaking up any cole slaw battles at lunch. She decides to leave the room after asking Squirrel point blank if "there's a problem here" between the two of them. Squirrel is peeved Halsey's shirking her "quadrant" duty; a rivalry begins at this moment between the two of them that sees Squirrel doing whatever she can to make Halsey look bad and get her in trouble with Principal Snur (largely for bad things Halsey is really doing).
In the hallway, Halsey spots a new substitute teacher named Scott Delacort (played by Justin Timberlake), who also happens to be the heir to an expensive watch-making fortune. Halsey smells money and decides Delacort might be her next fiance; she begins targeting him for seduction at the moment. Delacort is an enthusiastic, bubbly, up-with-people sort of teacher...a manchild who wants to be everyone's friend and is used to being beloved because he is nonthreatening, well-dressed, and rather simple at his core. Because his family has an enormous amount of money, teaching is a lark for him, and he gets a lot of self-satisfaction from being "so noble" as to spend his life teaching children in public school.
Halsey sees a picture of Delacort's former girlfriend on his phone (it's still his wallpaper) and realizes the woman had enormous breasts (Delacort said she had "a big heart"). Halsey is more determined than ever to get a breast augmentation, so she goes to see a plastic surgeon. His nurse shows Halsey her large breasts, which is a five minute bare chested nudity shot directly to the camera as Halsey decides what sort of breasts she wants. The doctor prints up some photos of what Halsey could look like with large breasts and Halsey then tries to setup an appointment to get them, but she does not have the $10,000 she needs for the operation. She then goes through a few montages of asking the bank for a loan and trying to borrow money from her fiance and roommate (played by Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family as a gross, somewhat dimwitted, large straight man named Kirk).
At school Halsey has become notorious for playing movies every day in her class: and they are all movies about good teachers in public schools making life-changing impacts on their students. Films such as "Stand and Deliver", "Teachers" (with Morgan Freeman), Dangerous Minds, etc. are shown. The brown-nosing student asks Halsey if she is going to teach or just play movies, and Halsey barks at her to be quiet. This student asks Halsey if she will support the seventh grade field trip's Car Wash fundraiser that weekend, because it's going to raise money for a class trip to Springfield, Illinois; last year's Car Wash raised $6,000 for the students. Halsey realizes she could make a lot of money for herself at the car wash, so she decides to trick Principal Snur into letting HER manage the Car Wash instead of her rival Squirrel.
Snur is obsessed with dolphins and Halsey is adroit at manipulating men, so with just a few minutes in his office and some well-placed complimentary remarks about dolphins she is able to get her way and becomes the new Car Wash manager. Halsey, at the Car Wash, dresses in short Daisy Dukes and a sexy plaid top, then performs a Flashdance-like water burlesque routine all over the cars. Men go ape for this, with a cop car driving by slamming into parked cars, the officer was so entranced by Halsey's water-drenched performance. The lesbian gym teacher is similarly enthralled, with her mouth gaping open at Halsey. The end result is that Halsey seemingly made thousands of dollars at the Car Wash, which she giddily counted in her car (a cheap little downgrade from her former red sports car, but still with the license plate HERS on it). Squirrel sees Halsey counting all that money and decides to make trouble for her by accusing her of embezzlement.
The next morning at school, Squirrel stalks Principal Snur to the men's room where she confronts him about Halsey, accusing her of stealing field trip money. Snur is irate because he claims using the bathroom is the only peace he gets all day and he enjoys being in the men's room. Squirrel will not let up and Snur finally tells her that Halsey raised $7,000 at the Car Wash and every parent who called -- especially the dads -- were THRILLED with her management of the fundraiser, demanding Snur allow Halsey to have a Car Wash EVERY weekend. Because she raised a full $1,000 more than last year, Snur considers the Car Wash a major success...but Halsey clearly did take a load of cash for her breast enlargement fund. She was just smart enough to outraise last year's haul before embezzling so Squirrel looked incredibly foolish. Snur barks Squirrel out of the bathroom and as soon as she leaves a male teacher who had been holding a bowel movement in while a woman was in the men's room lets everything loudly rip, in an audience-groaning moment where the teacher says "I thought she'd never leave!".
Halsey keeps trying to romance Delacort, while the boys' gym teacher Russell Gettis (played by Jason Segel) repeatedly tries asking her out. Halsey tells Gettis she will not date a coworker, when obviously she is trying to score with Delacort, much to Gettis' chagrin. Halsey and Gettis hit things off famously, however, and she starts to see him as a buddy and lets him in on her scheme to score a large breast enlargement to win a rich man. He looks longingly at her every chance he can get, and there's clear chemistry between the two.
At parent-teacher night, the brown-nosing girl's mother confronts Halsey about showing so many movies to the students, but Halsey claims it is part of her multimedia strategy to teach children without relying so much on books. One of the fathers at the conference later goes up to Halsey and offers her a bribe to make sure his poor performing son does well in her Social Studies course. Halsey gleefully accepts, and then works the room looking for other financial incentives to guarantee good grades for the students who pay her this extra money...since Halsey claims being a teacher is so rough, as she "has to pay for all her own supplies". The money she raises goes straight into her breast enlargement glass "tips" jar.
Halsey uses drugs, and has a false bottom on a drawer in her desk where she keeps a bag of marijuana, various pills, and glass pipes of various sizes for smoking cannabis. She smokes marijuana in her car in the school parking lot, where the brown-nosing girl catches her. Halsey claims it's medicinal, and then gives the girl some life advice about not dressing so uptight and "trying to be President" if that's not who she wants to be. Despite her lack of interest in doing her job and her rebellious spirit when it comes to rules, Halsey does clearly relate to the kids and her advice to them in terms of life survival skills is not all bad. She has a knack for saying things the way they are, and for warning the dorky and misfit kids to tone down whatever odd things they are doing that prevent them from making friends and having a better social life.
MUCH to Halsey's dismay, a romance develops between Delacort and Squirrel, largely because Squirrel decides to go after Delacort to spite Halsey. Squirrel is the sort of teacher who makes goofy puns to "make learning fun", which Delacort can't get enough of. When the three of them are in the cafeteria, Squirrel gets Delacort's attention by doing a pun-tastic riff on math where she claims to have "weapons of math instruction" as an "agent of Al-Gebra" instead of Al-Queda. It's terrible, but it's exactly the sort of thing Delacort loves, and the two start bonding to the exclusion of Halsey. Gettis the gym teacher tries to swoop in and woo Halsey, but she's having none of that. Instead, she mounts an effort to separate Delacort and Squirrel, including telling Delacort that Squirrel is hated by all other teachers and that she's clearly just after all his money. Delacort ponders this and seems to back off Squirrel for a while. But then the two of them bond over a mutual love for the book "Eat, Pray, Love" and Squirrel is definitely "sympatico" with Delacort, as he puts it, with Halsey left in the cold.
Delacort plays in an all-teacher band called "Period Five" and Halsey and Davies go to his show. He's a terrible singer and songwriter (funny because it's Justin Timberlake, so he's playing against natural type). One song he sings is called "Sympatico" and it's a love ballad for Squirrel. Halsey is furious and realizes her quest for Delacort is in jeopardy; more than ever, she wants the money to get her breast surgery. On the car ride home, Davies tells her that whichever teacher at JAMS has the class with the highest proficiency test scores will win a $5,700 bonus near the end of the year. Halsey never knew about this because it was part of that "boatload" of information she missed on Day One by skipping the orientation meeting and never reading the meeting minutes recap later. Halsey then decides to dedicate her energy to teaching her students so she can win the bonus and get her breast enlargement to snag wealthy Delacort from Squirrel.
The next day Halsey's students enter the classroom and find "To Kill A Mockingbird" and legal pads on all of their desks. Halsey expects them all to do work, and even the brown-nosing girl is upset, since they've been so conditioned to laziness and movie watching all year (at one point, Halsey had even shown "Scream" to the kids, since it was nominally set in a high school). She asks the kids questions about "Mockingbird" and all of them are clueless. She then assigns them 100 pages of the book to read by the next day and the kids go into a collective meltdown, unable to cope with so much homework. Halsey is frustrated they can't just suddenly and miraculously know everything that was on the syllabus when she did not assign any of it to them for the entire year.
Halsey then tries quizzing the kids on "Mockingbird" by using dodge balls as an incentive: if the kid gets a question wrong, Halsey pelts him with a ball, but if the kid is correct he gets to throw the ball at her instead. In the middle of this "lesson" in the gym, Gettis arrives and teaches a pale, spiky-haired boy he called "Twilight" how to really nail Halsey...and the kid hits her in the face. Gettis very clearly likes Halsey very much and wishes she would notice him, including an encounter the two share a few days later while chaperoning the school's winter dance, when Gettis and Halsey spent time together alone in the same gym after smoking marijuana and Gettis thinks they've related...with Halsey only seeing him as a "buddy" she can talk to about wanting to land a rich man with the enormous breasts she's going to buy. Halsey looks down on Gettis for only being a gym teacher and misses the great guy who appreciates her for who SHE really is, even though she is terrible to most people. Halsey is clearly lonely, and so pathetic that she had to spend Christmas dinner with a student's family...and she never bothered to learn the poor boy's name (though, at dinner, she DID manage to steal a glass dolphin from his mother's mantle...which she later gave to Principal Snur to curry more favor with him). Even though she's clearly drunk and has been rude to the family she's eating with, Halsey DOES give the boy straight-forward advice about girls that seem to help him, in a tough love sort of way.
Back in the classroom after Christmas break, Halsey's children write terrible essays on "Mockingbird" which Halsey attempts to grade, but ultimately just writes "Stupid", "Stupider", "Are you kidding me?", and increasing profanity all over. She realizes there is no way for her students to pass any test on whatever subject Halsey was supposed to be teaching. She then sees a pamphlet from the Illinois proficiency exam center and rips off the address, hatching a plan to somehow get hold of the answers to the test, so she can help her students cheat.
While Halsey is plotting and scheming, Squirrel is still trying to score a final and complete victory over her. Not content with landing Delacort as a boyfriend, Squirrel wants dirt on Halsey potent enough to have Halsey fired. To this end, Squirrel employs the brown-nosing girl to spy on Halsey...by promising this girl "extra credit dioramas" if she will find something incriminating on Halsey. Squirrel is directing the school play, "Annie", and the girl is the title character, decked out in a flaming red wig. The brown-nosing girl tells Squirrel that Halsey is actually teaching them now and that she likes Halsey, but when pressed admits to having seen Halsey smoking marijuana in her car. "But she had a prescription", the girl says. Squirrel starts dreaming about busting Halsey for drug possession and having her not only fired, but sent to jail too.
Halsey pretends to be a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and makes an appointment with Carl Halabi (Thomas Lennon) to interview him on allegations she manufactured that the state's exams are racially biased against black people. Halsey dresses up in the red Little Orphan Annie wig she stole from Squirrel's theater group (important later) and seduces Halabi after meeting him in a bar and plying him with alcohol. She tells him that she is turned on by having sexual relations in an office, especially on a desk near file cabinets. This is her ploy for him to take him to the test development center he works, make him pass out, and then steal an exam and answer key. The plan works perfectly, with Halsey slipping barbiturates into Halabi's white wine in his office, making him pass out, and then stealing the test and answer key. She also takes nude photos of Halabi doing inappropriate and embarrassing things with the office equipment.
Halsey's mission is a success and she uses the answer key and stolen test she obtained to guarantee her students will all pass the proficiency test with flying colors...though the results will not be known for some time.
A month or so later, Principal Snur convenes another mandatory meeting and this time Halsey attends. Before Snur is allowed to begin, Squirrel pleads for help in finding the red Annie wig someone stole from her props room and claims the "show won't go on tomorrow" without it. Snur takes over the meeting after this plea. The test results are in and Halsey is awarded the $5,700 bonus for teaching the highest-scoring class at JAMS. Squirrel is irate, because SHE was the one who won the bonus year after year. Gettis is proud of Halsey, but stunned she was able to attain the highest score in the school. The test results seem to be almost perfect, and so high that JAMS as an entire school was pushed into the top 5% percentile for the entire state. Squirrel is furious and decides to ratchet-up her crusade against Halsey.
The school trip to various Lincoln sites in Springfield happens and Squirrel is supposed to chaperon with Delacort, but Halsey sneaks into her classroom and rubs poison oak all over an apple on Squirrel's desk. Squirrel rubs the apple all over herself later that day, and then bites into it, resulting in hideous explosions of rash and blisters all over her face and mouth. Halsey tells Principal Snur she will step in at the last minute to take Squirrel's place as chaperon. Coming on the heels of winning the bonus and producing such high test results, Snur starts to look at Halsey like she's a gift from Heaven above...and Delacort begins liking Halsey more than Squirrel, because he now believes she is more dedicated to the students than she is. Squirrel fumes in the parking lot as she watches the class trip bus leave without her. She intends to use the time at school alone to dig up dirt on Halsey.
On the field trip, Halsey actually starts to realize what a politically-correct and zombified bore Delacort really is. He has no real opinion on anything, and just spouts platitudes that dominant conversation in public school teaching circles. In the Illinois state capitol, the students admire a statue of Abraham Lincoln, which prompts Delacort to deliver remarks on how much he hates slavery, and would time travel so he could "get rid of slavery" before Lincoln if he could. Halsey looks at him like he's a fool, because clearly few alive would say they were fans of slavery...so his taking this totally noncontroversial and obvious position and being so emotional about it makes him seem ridiculous. Gettis gets it too, and mocks Delacort (without him realizing it) by joining the conversation and saying, "You know what I really hate? Sharks". Delacort agrees that sharks are indeed awful, because they destroy families. Gettis springs the trap and says, 'But, on the other hand, they are magnificent creatures of the deep. Majestic". Delacort then follows form and admits to highly admiring the majesty of sharks. Halsey, very clearly, sees that Delacort is programmed on an intrinsic DNA level to just regurgitate platitudes and take noncontroversial, agreeable stances on everything imaginable. She suspects, for the first time possibly, that she does not want a life with someone like this, no matter how deep his trust fund runs.
But, Halsey is not giving up on her gold-digging just yet, and succeeds in getting Delacort to dry-hump her in his hotel room later that night. The two remain completely dressed, but Delacort has a sort of clothed sex with her, rubbing up against her back. Halsey, to be mean, dials Squirrel on Delacort's phone and lets it go to voicemail, then loudly directs various sex talk using their names so Squirrel will later hear this on her machine and be hurt by the fact that Delacort had a form of sex with Halsey. Despite all his money and good looks, Delacort is clearly too lame for Halsey and she knows it at this point. She has a hard time lying to claim he was "amazing" during their encounter, and after she leaves his room and runs into Gettis she actually longs to spend time with the gym teacher instead. He turns her down saying he's tired, after being hurt seeing her walking out of Delacort's room. Halsey knows she wants Gettis now.
Back home, Squirrel later dotes on her turtle and listens to the voicemail of Delacort and Halsey having sex (which she does not know was dry humping over clothes only). Squirrel becomes unhinged and decides to destroy Halsey. She goes to the school and tries to get into Halsey's desk to find dirt on her. The drawers are locked, so Squirrel mounts a big effort to actually switch her own office desk with Halsey's...pushing with all her might to transfer one solid wood enormous desk from one room to the other, and then switch it with its near-twin from Halsey's classroom. Then, with the desks switched, Squirrel (still scarred and inflamed from the poison oak), gets a maintenance man to open the drawers on Halsey's desk (which the maintenance man thinks is actually Squirrel's desk, since she moved it into her own classroom). Immediately after the maintenance man leaves, Squirrel finds the missing Annie wig and declares Halsey to be a master criminal. She then spots the test booklet Halsey ripped the address from (though she does not find the stolen answer key book). Squirrel plays detective a little and figures out that Halsey did SOMETHING at the proficiency test headquarters, since the paper ripped off clearly contained the address for this testing service. Squirrel decides to go there and dig up dirt on Halsey. She, however, completely misses the hidden false bottom to the drawer where Halsey hides all of her drug paraphernalia.
Halsey's still in Springfield, on the class trip, where she starts to actually realize her true love for helping people...totally by accident. She witnesses one of her students make an ass of himself by professing his love for the popular blond girl Chance. He delivers one of the lame poems he writes, talking about how Chance used to like him once upon a time but then became popular and started to distance herself from him, and now won't even talk to him. Chance and the other "cool kids" rip him to pieces when he's finished, and even the Abraham Lincoln impersonator on hand laughs at the boy...who takes off running, with Halsey in chase. She catches up with him in one of the displays in this Lincoln homestead educational village and the two have a decent heart-to-heart, where Halsey gives him some advice on how to handle girls...with the warning that he will probably have it pretty rough until college, but that his smarts and his poetry will be appreciate by someone then, and that person will love him. Halsey then decides to go above and beyond and give this boy some cool points by awarding him her bra. She takes it off gymnastically from under her shirt, and then later makes a big show of scolding the boy in front of all his fellow students, saying she caught him having sex with "an eighth grader from another school" and she was going to give him detention for it. One of the smart asses in the class say, "Yah, it probably was an eighth grade BOY" but then the picked-on kid raises the bra and says, "What kind of boy wears THIS!" All the little seventh grade goobers rejoice at seeing a real-live-actual bra, and they begin to play with it like it's a sword or slingshot. Halsey and Gettis watch all this, and he realizes what she did for the poor kid: he was humiliated and made a laughing stock, but then she saved his rep and made him a major player in the seventh grade with her lie and by giving him her bra. Gettis and Halsey really bond over this. Delacort is clearly no longer Halsey's obsession.
Back at JAMS, Squirrel has riled Principal Snur and the Superintendant up against Halsey, accusing her of cheating on the proficiency exam (which she did in fact do). Squirrel met with Halabi and showed him Halsey's photo, and he recognized her without the Annie wig. Halabi agreed to testify against Halsey at a hearing scheduled for the next day. Squirrel took immense delight in telling Halsey about the hearing as soon as she stepped off the Springfield bus. Halsey then hatched a plan to discredit Halabi and save herself from possible jail.
Halsey gave the incriminating photos she took of Halabi to her roommate Kirk and told him to find Halabi in the parking lot and menace him. Kirk is a fumbling bumbler and classic idiot, so he was not very threatening, but he remembered to give Halabi the photos -- which were indeed disturbing. Halabi got the message that if he testified against Halsey she would expose the pictures to the world and he would be humiliated, since one of the shots in particular showed this man nude and having sex with a copier machine.
At the hearing, Halabi tells Principal Snur and the Superintendant that he's a recreational drug user whose word cannot be trusted, since he likes to make things up. He tells them that Halsey did nothing wrong and that now that he's sober he wants to recant everything he told Squirrel the other day. He then excuses himself because he says he needs to go do more drugs and make up more lies somewhere else. Squirrel is furious and launches into another attack on Halsey, claiming SHE does drugs (which she actually does). Halsey says that Squirrel is insane and that if Squirrel really believes there are drugs on the premises then maybe they should all call the police and find them. Squirrel starts gloating that Halsey will soon be in jail.
BUT Halsey knew Squirrel had switched their desks because Halsey spotted a "Learning is FUNtastic" inane sticker on the desk in her classroom, which was not there before Halsey left for Springfield. This was a sticker very prominently displayed on Squirrel's desk, so Halsey figured out the switch was on...and that this was how Squirrel figured out what Halsey did to score the test answer key.
The police arrive at the school with a drug-sniffing dog named Gus. Gus immediately picks up the scent of drugs and heads to Squirrel's classroom. Squirrel screams at Gus to go to Halsey's classroom, but the police stop her, ultimately searching her desk. The police do not find the false bottom until Halsey suggests there might be one; once they open that secret compartment, they arrest Squirrel on the spot. Squirrel spirals into a total nervous breakdown while Halsey smiles triumphant.
The movie closes a month or so later with another end of the year celebration presided over by Principal Snur. This time, Squirrel is the one leaving the school, after a six year stint at JAMS. Squirrel keeps saying "I am leaving by my own decision in this thing I have decided for myself, to accept a position at Malcolm X High School in the worst part of the state, where I will bring my zany energy to struggling students because the Superintendant wants me there". It's clear to all she is being removed from the school and transferred somewhere awful because of the drug bust.
With Squirrel going away, Delacort tries to start a romance up with Halsey, but she turns him down stone-cold. And smiles at herself for having the sense to do it.
Halsey and Gettis end up in the gym together while everyone is saying their end of the year goodbyes. Halsey asks Gettis to sign her yearbook, and Gettis asks her to "hold his ball sack"...literally a giant sack full of dodge balls he was carrying. Halsey finally admits to wanting to date Gettis, even though Gettis is not rich, and Gettis tells Halsey she needs to find something in life she's better at than teaching.
Cut to three months later...with Halsey walking into the school with a planter of cacti and other personal items in a box, clearly preparing for a new school year. Davies says she's happy to see her back and the two plan on having lunch soon, with Halsey insisting they split it this time...a nod that she actually wants to be friends with Davies and no longer use her. Halsey does not walk into a classroom, but instead goes into what looks like the Principal's office. She passes a row full of kids, some of whom are dressed up in weird costumes. She spots one boy who looks especially tragic and says, "Okay buddy, you're first". The door to her office closes and we see that Halsey is now the school's guidance counselor...a job she seems confident and actually well-suited for.
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