January 8 1913
MARRIED WOMEN SCHOOL TEACHERS
The rule which bars married women from holding positions as teachers in the public schools in Tacoma is the most reactionary rule that might be applied to a school system supposed to be progressive and above the average of American cities. Under this rule, any young woman who may have mastered the study course of the normal schools and who has the necessary "certificates of scholarship" may be appointed to be a school teacher. Very little inquiry is made into her temperament, her understanding of child nature ore even her love for children.
We adults can all look back into our youthful going-to-school days and recall some particular teacher, perhaps, who always seemed to "have it in" for the youngsters or had scant patience with the exuberance of youthful animal spirits. The theory of limiting appointments to the teaching staff, of course, is that the appointment of married women would deprive single women of a livelihood. Are the school directors to consider the material welfare and prosperity of a few single women as against the wholesome, intelligent education of thousands of our rising generation? Under the stupid rule which now prevails in Tacoma and in many other big cities, it would seem so.
Several of the most active club women of Tacoma, women who belong to clubs because they find that organization is necessary for the achievement of reforms and improvements, and not because of Pink Tea habits, believe that married women, women who are mothers, make the best school teachers, especially in the grades where the younger children learn the rudiments of their education. It is notable, in the cities where married women are cultivated as school teachers and where the single women are the exception, that there are few "backward" children, fewer children weep over their home lessons and truancy is a rarity.