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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 49

Has Education Yet Decreased Crime?

Has Education Yet Decreased Crime?

Now, hear their piteous lamentation: "Did not the advocates of our free school system," says Mr. Hopkins, Superintendent of Schools in Indiana, "promise the people that if they would take on their shoulders the additional burden of taxation for its support, the same would be lightened by the diminution of crime? Is there any perceptible decrease of crime in Indiana? Is there any reasonable probability that there soon will be? It is becoming a grave question among those who take comprehensive views of the subject of education, whether this intellectual culture without moral is not rather an injury than a benefit. Is it not giving teeth to the lion and fangs to the serpent? That is the true system of training page 16 which adapts itself to the entire complex nature of the child. No free government can safely ignore this grave subject, for nations that lose their virtue soon lose their freedom." Here is a remarkable statement by a friendly pen in the hand of the chief official of the educational department of Indiana, whose testimony, therefore, must be admitted as of great weight. Mr. Hopkins has been reading the newspapers of the day, and, startled by the revelations of crime among the intellectual and educated classes, who use the advantages of school learning the better to defraud creditors, embezzle trust funds, rob banks, form conspiracies to cheat the government, and sell official honor for personal gain, is seeking some explanation of a condition of public and private morals that cannot continue without destroying the liberties of the Republic. He has hit on the right starting-point. Let him go on with his investigations, and fear not to disclose his discoveries.