After the school superintendent is arrested for shooting an antigun demonstrator, the young boys of Enterprise Military Academy find themselves under siege by the State Police and the National Guard. When issued a court order to give up the firearms in the school arsenal, the cadets, being good soldiers, do their best to protect their territory and rights and declare war on the school's home state, New Jersey. Smoldering tensions, distrust, and fear threaten to ignite the explosive situation at any moment.
Jack Crusher, journalist and Enterprise alumnus, as well as the father of one of the cadets, Wesley Crusher, narrates the story as a liaison between the embattled academy and the real world. Parents, police, the National Guard, and the press are impotent; it is an eminent psychologist who finally finds the key that averts disaster.