Mike Lowry was hired by the board of Garfield High School as principal after Jefferson Pierce resigned from his post. One of his first acts was to install metal detectors at the school. On his first day, Jefferson Pierce welcomed him to the school confronted him about the metal detectors, asking if they were really necessary. Lowry told him they were or else Jefferson would still be Principal.
Lowry intervened when two students were found to be fighting in the halls of Garfield High. Although Jefferson Pierce had resolved the situation, Lowry immediately expelled Sekou Hamilton, the student who had throw the first punch stating that Garfield now had a zero-tolerance policy for fighting. When Jefferson told him that Garfield was built on the understanding that no on was above redemption, Lowry told him that if he could not follow the new rules, then he was free to leave as well.
Lowry went back to his office where he was confronted with an angry Jefferson who told him to never speak that way to him again. When Lowry asked if Jefferson was threatening him, Jefferson made it clear he was. Lowry again told him that he had the option to leave if he could not support the new rules. While Lowry intended for no children to be harmed under his care, Jefferson tried to make the case that expelling Sekou would be more likely to make him a threat than someone they could be proud of. Lowry refused to budge from his position of zero tolerance.