UM News Brief: Lunar New Year, Miami schools face backlash and the death of a marathon world record-holder


AASA and CASA host annual Lunar New Year Festival

For the twelfth year in a row, the Asian American Students Association and Chinese Students and Scholars Association held a joint Lunar New Year Festival on Feb. 9 ahead of the official Lunar New Year on Feb. 10.

Festivities began at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Patio, where students received a passport to be stamped by at least five organizations before getting in the food line. The free dinner included Chinese food such as dumplings and kung pao chicken.

In addition, several student dance and taekwondo groups performed on the Lakeside Patio stage starting at 7:45 p.m.

Organizations represented at the festival included the Filipino Student Association, Muslim Students of the University of Miami, Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, Council of International Students and Organizations, Delta Epsilon Psi and Anime Club.

For more information on their upcoming events, follow AASA and CSSA on Instagram at @aasaum and @umiamicssa.


Miami schools face backlash after requiring parental consent for participation in Black History Month event

On the evening of Feb. 12, Chuck Walter, the parent of two children at the Coral Way K-8 Bilingual Center, posted a photo of a permission slip on X that his first-grade daughter brought home, asking for parental permission for students to listen to a book written by a Black author.

This permission slip was sent to families as a result of the Parental Rights in Education Act , commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which requires parents to be notified about certain school activities. However, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Jose L. Dotres stated that a permission slip was not necessary for an event of this nature.

“Florida does not require a permission slip to teach African American history or to celebrate Black History Month. Any school that does this is completely in the wrong,” said Manny Diaz Jr., the Florida Commissioner of Education, on X.

A similar incident occurred earlier this month at iPrep Academy, a Miami-Dade magnet school.

A Miami-Dade School Board member stated that the school was simply following the PREA, but the Florida Department of Education called the story a “media driven lie” in a statement to Business Insider.


Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum dies at age 24

Kenyan long-distance runner the marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum died in a car crash in Kaptagat, Kenya at age 24 after veering off a road on Feb. 11.

Kiptum broke the world record for the fastest time running a marathon at the 2023 Boston Marathon, where he ran the entire 26.2 mile track in 2 hours and 35 seconds, beating the previous record-holder Eliud Kipchoge by 34 seconds.

According to the British Broadcasting Company, Kiptum was planning to attempt the first-ever sub-two hour marathon finish in history.

Kiptum also holds the record time for the fastest debut marathon completed, running the 2022 Valencia Marathon in 2 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds.

Gervais Hakizimana, Kiptum’s coach, was also in the car accident and died at the scene of the crash. A third passenger was severely injured in the crash.

Four men who visited Kiptum’s home a few days before his death have been arrested and are being held in police custody while Kiptum’s death is investigated.

Kenyan President William Ruto has arranged for a house to be built in honor of Kiptum, which is expected to be finished by his family’s 40-day mourning period.