Unemployment woes and economic downturns caused six female teachers in Lodi to get an unwanted letter in the mail. In the letter, the Lodi School District Board of Trustees requested the six women resign their teaching jobs because they were married. The letter sent in May 1923 reflected a common practice throughout the nation. In 1921 the board adopted a resolution stating, "No married teachers should be employed whose husbands were living and able to support them."
The front-page story published on May 17, 1923 didn't end with the request for resignation. The married teachers of Lodi were so aroused that they were determined to "wage a battle" for their jobs. One of the women took the matter up with Will C Woods, the state superintendent of schools. Two days later on May 19, the Sentinel carried another front-page story with the superintendent's response. According to Woods, the State law did not specifically prohibit married women from working as teachers. But to fire a teacher the Lodi district had to prove charges against the married teachers who had been employed for more than two years."
The first known recorded protest in the nation against the "common practice" faded quickly from the pages of the media. The unidentified teacher may have been on the faculty the following school year .... Seven of the women were identified as "Mrs."
Ralph Lea/Courtesy photograph
This photograph is from the personal collection of the late Maurice Hill, shown in the second row from the right and fourth seat back. This was the third-grade class and their teacher at Emerson Grammar School in about 1911.
the complete story may be found at the following link: