CALHOUN FEMALE TEACHERS HAD LOTS OF RULES IN EARLY 1900 - 'You Will Not Keep Company With Men'

(05/03/2022)
By Bob Weaver

Female school teachers had lots of rules to follow in the early 1900s at a time that Calhoun had over 100 one-room schools.

While male teachers had rules too, the requirements and expectations for female teachers were high, certainly a double standard.

While the rules for female teachers varied from district to district, most had about the same list.

It is important to remember that all the decision makers were men, and women had yet to be given the right to vote.

CONTROL OF FEMALE TEACHERS

1. You will not marry during the term of your contract.

2. You are not to keep company with men.

3. You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.

4. You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.

5. You may not travel beyond city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.

6. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.

7. You may not smoke cigarettes.

8. You may not dress in bright colors.

9. You may under no circumstances dye your hair.

10. You must wear at least two petticoats.

11. Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.

12. To keep the school room neat and clean, you must:

-Sweep the floor at least once daily
-Scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water
-Clean the blackboards at least once a day
-Start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m.