"Boy on Fire"
L&O, Episode 20.14
Production number: 20012
First aired: 1 March 2010
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Teleplay By
Luke Schelhaas & Matthew McGough

Story By
Ed Zuckerman & Matthew McGough

Directed By
Rose Troche


The body of a charter school student from a rough neighborhood is found beaten and then set on fire.

When the police are led to a video of the event, they discover that four people in the video may be in league with a surprising collaborator and the evidence later leads to corruption by the school's principal.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast




[After the discovery of Cesar Ramirez's body]
Lupo: School ID to Sunrise Academy. It's a few blocks that way. One of those charter schools.
Bernard: Trying to help kids in the lousy neighborhoods. Give them a better education to break the cycle of violence.
Lupo: Looks like they've got a little ways to go.
Principal Woodside: Yes I've heard about the murder, everyone's talking about it.
Bernard: Anyone talking about who did it?
Principal Woodside: Most of these kids worship at the Church of Don't Snitch.
Principal Woodside: Charter schools, magnet schools, they take all our best students, and then we're blamed for having the worst. Kids from poverty, from broken families, a hundred years of neglect and we have to get them ready for college with just a few hours a day. Some charter school that gets 20 million dollars from Bill Gates and they get a few students into Dartmouth, it makes front page news. You want to know what the real success stories are? When a student from Aaron Burr who couldn't even read in the ninth grade manages to graduate and get a job in an auto-parts store instead of becoming a drug dealer. That's a success story, our success story. But no one cares. No one wants to hear about it.
[After Principal Woodside is arrested]
McCoy: Grand larceny? What did she steal?
Cutter: Well, how about a decent education for her students? Their integrity, their potential?
McCoy: I don't think there's a law against stealing potential.

Background information and notes

  • Since "The Jay Leno Show" was canceled and all the 10:00 p.m. weekday timeslots were available, the series was moved again to Mondays only this time at 10:00 p.m.

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"Steel-Eyed Death"
"Boy on Fire"
Law & Order
Season 20
Next episode:
"Brilliant Disguise"
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