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U.P. loses its identity

Students, feeling slighted, write letter to book publisher

November 8, 2008
Audrey LaFave -

ESCANABA - Escanaba Area High School students have written to a national textbook publisher asking the company to fix a United States map that misidentifies the U.P.

The first-hour history class was studying suffrage and the history of voting rights, said student Jack Klim, when he noticed the U.P. was mislabeled on a map in the book and wasn't the same color as the Lower Peninsula.

"We were studying suffrage before the Depression and it had a map of all the states and the U.P. was not included," said Klim of a map in the brand-new text book.

Article Photos

Jack Klim

"We thought it was a little bit degrading, like we weren't part of the U.S. It's kind of ridiculous," said Klim, especially since the map was tailor-made for Michigan students.

The map depicts the progress of women's suffrage and shows the U.P. labeled "IL" and uncolored, signifying that it is nothing, said instructor Phil Lynch.

"I was impressed they noticed it and then, right away, wanted to do something about it," said Lynch. "Our curriculum encourages kids to write persuasive essays, so it's nice they wanted to put their learning to practical use."

The students composed a letter and sent it to publisher Pearson Prentice Hall asking them to change the map "Passage of Women's Suffrage" in the book "United States History: Modern America (Michigan edition)". The letter also advises the company to include information about the U.P. to make the textbook more appealing.

Student Arthur Bishop said it was "not the first time" he has witnessed the U.P. being short-changed.

"We tried to be polite, but get our idea across so they would fix it," said student Emily Buchmiller.

"(When) I noticed the U.P. was not included in the U.S. (it made) me feel un-American," said Klim.



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