In response to the debate in the New York Times “Room for Debate” about the Vergara decision, teacher H.A. Hurley commented on the historical perspective I offered, showing that tenure was part of women teachers’ struggle against the pervasive gender discrimination of superintendents and school boards.

Hurley writes that gender discrimination persisted long into the 20th century. She writes:

“Diane, outlining the history of the need for tenure in teaching was important. For many of us, the abuse of power by administrators of young teachers has not been so long ago. I remember the invasive questions of my marriage plans, pregnancy plans, birth control questions and having to provide answers to personal questions when taking a sick leave day or a personal day. Salary questions were discussed when answering questions related to why a woman worked if the husband worked. One system refused to honor my hyphenated last name, so did a major university in GA. Not that long ago!

“In one school, teachers had to provide all medical diagnosis and medications taken – 1998 in GA. Not long ago! Frightening! No protection!? Many more stories…

We were not able to wear pants, even if we were expected to sit in the floor, restrain BD students, or worked in cold climates.
Administrators were males and almost all teachers were women when I started in the late 1960s. Male Chauvenism was a new diagnosis and many men in authority were outraged and took it out in their female staff.
Job protection from abuse of power by authority was not awarded easily and is still fought in many states – not much has changed.

Michael Petrilli has no idea, about many things. Lots of slap Schtick generalizations, opinions and zip substance. Funny he is not, because Deformers use his airhead comments as gospel.
He operates all cylinders with personal attacks and bias. A scholar he is not and never will be. He reminds me of those administrators I wrote about at the beginning of this comment.
Unions, regs, lawyers and fear were the only reason some of these archaic ways changed. Only long enough to quickly rear their ugly heads with California rulings & more to come.

Frightening is an understatement. Women must speak up and tell their stories. Tenure has its history in gender discrimination.