A new music teacher ,Andrew Norris, gets a new job at a inner city school. However the school is far from normal controlled by punks and gangs where the teachers turn a blind eye to the drug dealing and the beatings of the pupils. Andrew Norris confronts the gangs leader, Peter Stegman, giving new hope to the students. However Stegman intends on keeping control of the school by any means necessary (threating the pupils, the teachers or Andrew's own wife). It soon becomes an intense rivalry between Norris and Stegman for complete control of the school.

The film was directed by Mark L. Lester and features music by Alice Cooper and Teenage Head.

There were two sci-fi themed sequels, Class of 1999 and Class of 1999 II: The Substitute.