Rose Freistater was twenty-six years old when the New York City Board of Examiners denied her a teaching license. She had been teaching at James Monroe High School, first as a student teacher and then as a substitute teacher for five years, and her work was characterized by the chairman of the biology department in which she taught as “difficult to overstate in its excellence.” But in 1931, Rose stood five feet and two inches and weighed 182 pounds. When she applied for her teaching license that year, she weighed thirty pounds more than the maximum weight allowed by the Board for her height. She was given six months to lose thirty pounds; when she lost only twenty in that time, she was rejected by the Board altogether. Although a number of overweight and underweight teachers were rejected by the Board of Education in the ten years that the standards had existed, Rose was the first to appeal to the state that the qualifications were unfair. When her case reached the State Commissioner of Education in 1935, it was rejected again, and the city board issued a statement claiming, “Other things being normal, a person of abnormal weight is likely to have more absences because of ill health and be less efficient as a teacher than a person of average weight.” Furthermore, it added, “Teachers must climb stairs, take part in fire drills, and be able to handle all real school emergencies. Overweight teachers are less likely to stand the strain of teaching…. Teachers should [be]… acceptable hygienic models for their pupils in the manner of weight.” Finally, overweight teachers, who represented greater health risks than others, “constitute[d] a drain on the teachers' pension fund.” In response, the Freistater family contended that Rose walked the five flights of steps to their apartment several times a day, but her case was closed.