ABSTRACT

This chapter reviews the historic “ceremony of professionalism” that issued from Mann and shrouded public school teachers. For one, Mann held a Ptolemaic vision of the public schools at the center of his universe with other institutions in a subordinate role. For school boards the dismissal of married women teachers seemed an inviting target in hard times. Yet, married women teachers had their supporters. Superintendent Campbell explained the dismissal of Mrs. Mary C. Williams, a black teacher, on the ground that she had falsified her personnel records by concealing the birth of her child in violation of maternity leave by-laws of the school board. Discrimination against teachers, especially women teachers, by whatever measure was one issue, but the attempt to limit family incomes was another matter. Married Teachers Not Wanted signs vanished during World War II when millions of men and women entered the armed forces.