Smash and grab kids admirable but wrong, Leeds teachers told

[Yorkshire Evening Post, Editorial, March 1956]

Bad Boys

Sir Basil Henriques, who is Chairman of the East London Juvenile Court, certainly said something startling in Leeds last night when he told the Teachers’ Association that many bad boys are really admirable.

One sees what he meant. Badness can be a form of initiative and courage. It can show a spirit of competition. It can show a willingness to take risks.

“If a child has the guts to throw a stone through a shop window and steal several thousand pounds worth of goods,” said Sir Basil, “that’s admirable.”

In the next breath he said “But it is also wrong and has got to be stopped”.

We find it difficult to see how anything wrong can be admirable. The essence of morality is obedience to the laws. Thugs have guts.

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