Oct 30, 2010

Female Teacher's Contract - Utah 1923

by Cindy R. Williams

In 1922 my someday to be grandmother, Alice Rupp, was a school teacher in Utah. Her career lasted all of one year because she married Charles Sample the next year. Believe it or not, if a women married, she was no longer allowed to teach according to the Female Teacher's Contract which came into effect in 1923. My dear mother, Verlayne Sample Richardson, found the contract a few weeks ago and gave me a copy.

Here are the 12 rules:

1. Teacher is not to get married. This contract becomes null and void if the teacher marries.
2. Teacher is not to keep the company of men.
3. Teacher must be home between the hours of 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM unless in attendance at a school function.
4. Teacher must not loiter downtown in ice cream parlors.
5. Teacher may not leave town at any time without permission of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.6. 6..Teacher is not to smoke cigarettes or drink wine, beer or whisky. This contract becomes null and void if teacher is caught smoking, or drinking wine, beer or whiskey.
7. Teacher may not ride in a carriage with any man except her brother or father.
8. Teacher is not to dress in bright colors.
9. Teacher may not dye her hair.
10. Teacher will not wear dresses more than two inches above the ankle.
11. Teacher is to wear at least two petticoats.
12. Teacher is to bring a bucket to school to clean and scrub the building every week.

My, my, my, I wonder what bloggers or "light year word writers" "space word floaters" or cyber writers" whatever they will be doing or called in 2110, a hundred years from now, will think about the rules for female teacher of our time.


  1. Oh my goodness! Thank you for sharing this amazing bit of information.

  2. We have come a long way in 88 years!

  3. I'm rolling. Who made these rules up?

  4. I can't wait to share these rules with my daughter, a junior at BYU in elementary education. No wonder teachers back then looked so unhappy!

    As for today's teachers, they seem to have very few rules except this unfortunate one:

    Teach to the test.

  5. Could you post a copy of the contract, please?

    I have seen dozens of sites with this text but not a single "hard" copy.

  6. Sorry. My mother has the original. My grandmother was actually a teacher until she did the unthinkable and got married.

  7. Sorry. My mother has the original. My grandmother was actually a teacher until she did the unthinkable and got married.


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