Our local newspaper, the St. Pete Times, tells of how a School Board member labeled disruptive jerks as "hoodlums".
The disruptive jerks were black, and the next thing you know, they took offense to the term.
If only they'd spend more time in the classroom and less time being hoodlums, they would've learned what it meant.
The reporter attempts to explain away their overreaction by this convoluted reasoning: The first half of the word "hoodlum" is "hood", as in "neighborhood", and since black thugs often refer to their home territory as "the hood", they own this term and it shouldn't be used in any other words about them.
I would suggest the term "scalawag", which was a favorite label my grandfather always used for hoodlums. But wait! It's fraught with meaning also! Apparently it was "...a moniker for southern whites who supported Reconstruction following the Civil War." Well, we wouldn't want to call black hoodlums "scalawags", then, would we?
How about "reprobate"? Nah - our hoodlums would probably think it has a sexual meaning (reproduction and masturbate) and we wouldn't want to confuse them any further. They can hardly be rocket scientists, after all, if they don't value schooling.
How about "delinquent"? Certainly not! Anyone who eats in a deli would be infuriated! Hold the mustard!
How about "hooligan" or "scofflaw"? Well honestly, could you take anyone seriously who used those terms? I know *I* couldn't.
"Avast ye hooligan! I demand redress for your knavish behavior! Yea verily, I shall smite thee!"
How about just plain "jackasses"? As donkeys can't talk, it's safe to say they can't object.