Paper Tigers chronicles a year in the life of Lincoln High School in the community of Walla Walla, Washington. The kids who come to Lincoln have a history of truancy, behavioral problems and substance abuse. After Lincoln's principal is exposed to research about the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), he decides to radically change the school's approach to discipline. With the aid of diary camera footage, the film follows six students. From getting into fights, grappling with traumatic events in their lives, and on the cusp of dropping out, they find healing, support and academic promise at Lincoln High.