Thursday, October 7, 2010


by Cindy R. Williams

In 1922 my grandmother, Alice Rupp Sample, was a school teacher in Utah. Her career lasted all of one year because she got married the next year, and believe it or not, married women were not allowed to be teachers 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.  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. I was very interested in this post, since I am researching Utah women's teaching contracts. My mother married in 1927, a year before graduating, top in her class as Utah State University. Because she was married she was unable to teach in Utah and went across into Idaho to get a job, causing she and my dad to live apart for some time. I would very much like to get a copy of Alice Rupp Sample's contract. Please contact me: Linda Hamm 907-339-8098 or Looking forward to hearing from you.