In the provincial school somewhere between Kaluga and Serpukhov comes a new student Lena Bessoltseva. She settles in the house of her grandfather, Nikolai Nikolayevich, a former military man who collects paintings for the purpose of arranging a picture gallery in his house. In town his grandfather is disliked for his closed way of life.
When Lena comes to her new 6th grade, her classmates even smile at her face, but her behavior makes it clear that they despise her. Students in the class are the most stereotypical: Mironova, nicknamed “The Iron Button” (a girl, in fact, a class leader, with iron convictions, always steadily moving towards her goal), “Shaggy” (a class strongman who believes that the most important
As punishment for absenteeism, the guys cancel the trip to Moscow during the autumn holidays, to which everything was prepared for a very long time. The guys decide to find and punish the culprit, and Lena, seeing Dima’s indecision, takes the blame on herself, as a result of which she becomes an outcast. All students declare a boycott to her, mock her at every opportunity and even severely beaten several times.
Lena for a long time hopes that Dima is about to confess his fault, but he does not dare. In part, because he is afraid of losing credibility, in part – believes that classmates will decide that he defends Lena, and will not believe him. The truth is known by two more: Shmakov and Popov, who hid under the desk during a conversation between Dima and the teacher, but they prefer not to interfere, but to see how Somov will suffer.
Hope, faith and Lena’s love for Dima crumble when he joins his classmates to protect himself, and participates in the burning of a scarecrow symbolizing Lena.
Seeing that the matter had gone too far, Dima was being given out by Popov.
However, Lena is forced to leave the city, because she does not want to study in this school anymore.
Grandpa Lena leaves her collection of paintings as a gift to the city and leaves with her on the boat. They are escorted by the Suvorov military band, the game of which accompanies the events during the whole film.
At parting grandfather Lena gives the school a picture of her grandmother, which is very similar to his granddaughter. In the final scene, the children write over the left portrait on the school board: “Scarecrow, forgive us!”.